2000s Recipes + Menus

Calamari with Beans and Maras Pepper

Serves4 (First Course)
  • Active time:20 min
  • Start to finish:20 min
May 2009
American chefs are beginning to discover the virtues of Maras and Urfa peppers. At Rendezvous in Central Square, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for example, chef-owner Steve Johnson uses them in a variety of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, including this easy but deeply flavorful squid sauté. You’ll be amazed at the amount of flavor a mere teaspoon of Maras adds.
  • 1 (19-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves (1 minced and 2 very thinly sliced)
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 lb cleaned squid, bodies cut into 1/2-inch rings and tentacles halved
  • 1 teaspoon Maras pepper
  • 1 cup packed baby arugula
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • equipment:

    an adjustable-blade slicer
  • Simmer beans, water, 1 Tbsp oil, minced garlic, and 1/8 tsp salt in a medium saucepan, mashing a few spoonfuls of beans and stirring occasionally, until liquid is thick and creamy, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, shave enough thin slices from fennel bulb to get 1/4 cup.
  • Pat squid dry. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté squid until opaque and just cooked through, 30 to 45 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in sliced garlic. Sprinkle with Maras pepper and season with salt.
  • Divide beans among 4 shallow bowls. Toss shaved fennel, arugula, and olives with lemon juice and remaining Tbsp oil. Arrange salad over beans and top with squid.
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