Calamari Souvlaki (Καλαμάρια-Σουβλάκι)






Yesterday in Naxos, today back at my homebase of Halkidiki, where our summer home is. No worries, we’re still be the sea.

For years (since 1980), my family has been coming to Nea Kallikratia for our summer vacations. Here in Toronto, people head north to their cottages to spend the summers but us…we just go to Greece!

The Psarotaverna (seafood tavern) where my family & friends’ frequent is called Kapetan Giakoumis and it operates summer & winter and patronized by Greeks and tourists alike for it’s fresh, local seafood and affordable prices.

I don’t think anyone’s paid more than 20 euros (per person) for an array of seafood appetizers and lots of Tsipouro.

Each year that I visit Greece I see new dishes, new takes on classics and I’m all too happy to share these food experiences with you all.

In Greece, “dinner” is eaten late and whenever we go out ( 9 or 10pm), our tables are surrounded by Greeks, as the tourists dine early.

Today’s feature is a souvlaki made from calamari. I’ve seen this done before but what struck me this time was the simplicity and beauty of the presentation.

What “Giakoumis” did was to simply cut the squid then skewer the pieces to reform the shape of the squid’s body with alternating coloured peppers and sweet red onions. Brilliant!

There are two paths you can take with this dish: one is to use smaller squids and serve them up as appetizers or go the entree route and use larger squid for each plating.

I’ve taken the latter approach, using one large squid per person. I do love calamarai, be it poached or fried but when it’s grilled, it takes on a whole new dimension…it’s my favourite.

Try Calamari Souvlaki…charred calamari, tender to the bite that’s balanced by crunchy and sweet peppers and onions between each bite!

Calamari Souvlaki (Καλαμάρια Σουβλάκι)
(per skewer)

1 whole squid, cleaned and cut into equal pieces
wooden skewers (soaked in water overnight)
some red onion (cut to the size of squid pieces)
red, yellow and green peppers (cut to the size of squid)


Marinade

olive oil

minced garlic (or garlic powder)

sea salt
black pepper

balsamic vinegar
dry Greek oregano

  1. Even using wooden skewers, soak them the night before so that when they hit the grill, they don’t burn away or…use metal skewers like I did today.
  2. After you’ve cleaned your squid, the cut it up in equal pieces but remember to keep the pieces in the sequence of the squid’s body.
  3. Start skewering the squid, starting from the tail and finishing at the other end with the tentacles, with you alternating a piece of onion or pepper in between each squid segment.
  4. Once you’ve skewered your squid and vegetables, marinate them by first drizzling olive oil, splash of balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, black peppers, a little sea salt ( more later) and some Greek oregano. Allow the calamari to marinade for 1 hour room temperature.
  5. Pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill until you have a medium-high heat. You should be able to count up to five when you put you hand above the grill (before it gets to hot).
  6. Now season your calamari with sea salt and before grilling, ensure you’ve brushed your grill when and that you’ve treated it with some vegetable oil (this will prevent sticking).
  7. Grill your squid for about a couple of minutes on each side (until charred) and keep turning the skewers until all sides have that char-grilled look.
  8. Drizzle with good olive oil, squeeze some fresh lemon juice and sprinkle some dried Greek oregano.
  9. Serve hot with a salad, rice pilaf and some crusty bread.

© 2008 – 2010,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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60 Comments for “Calamari Souvlaki (Καλαμάρια-Σουβλάκι)”

Prudy

says:

That looks scrumptious, especially all those juices on the plate. I love how simple the recipe is. I can do this one for sure.

Núria

says:

I don’t know what I like the most: that wonderful sea-flavoured calamari or the beautiful sunset!!!! Could I have both? I’m sure travel agents will have an overbooking for Greece trips if you keep on speaking like this about it :D

Laurie Constantino

says:

Grilled kalamaria – nothing better. Unless it’s grilled octopus. Or grilled fish…
Lovely presentation. I’m really enjoying your vacation posts.

Nat

says:

I agree with Núria: Greece must really thank you such a wonderful publicity.
In my case I’d rather pick the sunset…how romantic! (And it’s also because I’m full of a salmon dish I have just taken ;-)
Curious thing about the late timetable for dinner: May it be a Mediterranean custom?
Great post as usual Peter, cheers! xxNat

Anonymous

says:

I recently stumbled upon your delicious blog and really enjoy it. One of the nice things about it (other than the drool-worthy imagery) is your tags which make it easy to go through such an extensive site. What I miss is a section which would make your recommendations on places to eat (or stay) in Greece easy to access.

All the best!

A displaced Torontonian in Philadelphia

Gloria (Canela)

says:

Peter, what`s really beautiful is Greece and I love the sea colour!!
Hey I like so the two dishes,(I refer to the under post) I prefer comments all here Champiñons and this delicious calamares, Is not a secret I love all your food!!! xGloria

Happy cook

says:

I have never been to greece; would love to go there once especially for the food after comming to your blog.

Dee

says:

Souvlaki is great, but never thought it’d work with calamari. Your friends are lucky, and surprisingly slender despite your best intentions :)

Jan

says:

Ha-ha
Am back on-line quicker than expected!
As for this dish of yours – Guess what??…I WANT that now! LOL
Was expecting to find you’d cooked rabbit, so I’m quite pleased to see you haven’t, but it’s just a matter of time I expect!

FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels

says:

So glad you decided to become a food blogger and so glad I found you. Every post transports me to Greece and leaves me wanting more. I love grilled calamari, but never had it served as a kabob which is a great presentation…and, oh, those juices! Give me a piece of bread and get out of the way!

Lisa

says:

I just ate a bleh bowl of soup for lunch, then I look at this….you’re killin’ me!

That looks devine!!! ME WANT!

Aimée

says:

Peter, I swear, every time I visit your blog (not as often as I would like, but oh well)a light bulb goes off. I LOVE grilled calamari and of course it would be amazing in a brochette form, but I would never think of it. Thanks!

Paula

says:

Oh man, I am so ready to just go pack my bags, hop on a plane, and park my Italian body in Greece. This looks so amazing to me. I love squid and have had it prepared a multitude of ways, but never like this. I fear I’d eat many, many skewers of those glorious rings. YUM! Make that Double YUM!

Lori Lynn

says:

This certainly is brilliant Peter. Grilled calamari is my favorite too. Such a great idea, never seen it on a skewer before…

Peter G

says:

This one has my name written all over it. And I def agree, grilled calamari takes on a whole diff character when grilled. These I will def be making at home!

aforkfulofspaghetti

says:

Ooooh, fab. Bet that tastes mighty good, given that the calamari will be so fresh right from the sea. Mmmmmm…

Marjie

says:

Beautiful skewers! Different colors and textures – perfect! And of course, our Peter is sitting with a couple of pretty blondes! And I wouldn’t want to go north of Toronto either – even in summer! Especially when the family has places to go in as lovely a place as Greece!

Susan from Food Blogga

says:

Grilled calamari sounds amazing. I’ve never had it before. And what a good-looking bunch of people in that pic, especially the guy on the right. ;)

Maria

says:

Thanks Peter — you just gave me tomorrow night’s dinner as I was about to defrost some calamari we bought fresh from a Long Island fish market a couple weeks ago. Your dish looks scrumptous — I just hope I can get the calamri to stay tender as such.

Natashya

says:

I have never had calamari souvlaki before – somehow never see it on the Danforth.
Sounds, and looks, very tasty.
I am a bit of a chicken and have never cooked with squid, I really must expand my horizons.

We Are Never Full

says:

to me there is nothing more fabulously delicious than those beautiful tentacles that have been chargrilled or cooked ala plancha and now have a bit of crispy burnt pieces. you captured that in the picture. MMMMMMMM.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

says:

What a gorgeous (and tantalizing) dish! Makes the chicken soup I made tonight look like crap! ;)

annamtl

says:

Hmm, looks mighty good but everytime I have had grilled calamari, it has been rather tough; maybe I had it at the wrong places. I will keep an open mind (and tummy) hehehe!

PeterMarcus

says:

I have eaten Asian-style octopus for years (and loved it), then I was in Barcelona and had grilled octupus, and it was such an amazing difference.

I don’t think I’ve ever had grilled calamari, especially as looking at this, I think I’d remember. Man this is making me hungry (and I just ate). Those onions and peppers look so complimentary next to it, too!

noobcook

says:

squid kebobs! I want!! For some reason, I always visit your blog in the morning, and the imagery of your lovely food will be stuck in my head the whole day hehe

joanne at frutto della passione

says:

I love grilled squid too but I haven’t had it in ages. I like the idea of each skewer being a whole squid.

kittie

says:

This looks mouth-wateringly good. I wish I had a grill. I’m guessing the effect of broiling it would be nowhere near as effective…

Nina Timm

says:

Wow, Peter. These Greek recipes are making my head spin!!!!! I love the charred pieces and the lovely juices on the plate!

Peter M

says:

Rosa, it's a great way to eat squid.

Prudy, that's the beauty of this dish and greek food – simple and delish.

Nuria, of course you may have both…anything for my chica!

Laurie, I knew I had to try this dish out when it was served to me.

Nat, sunset it is…dinner, wine, walk on the beach?

Kat, in Greece I eat seafood caught from the same waters I swim in.

Displaced in Philly, thank you for your encouragement and kind words. I will certainly consider your suggestions.

Gloria, gracias as always.

Happy, it's not too far from Belgium.

Dee, I like well-fed friends, that way they are not grumpy.

Jan, the rabbit will be a surprise.

Foodalogue…ya got that right…bread for that sauce!

Lisa…come on down & dig in.

Aimee, I too was amazed at it's simplicity.

Foodcat, you described it perfectly.

Paula, start saving your ducats for that trip to Greece.

Lori lynn, it's simplicity is it's genius.

Ivy, grilled calamari at home too!

Thanks Mikky.

Pete, squid on the 'bah'bee" as you folks say!

Forkfu, indeed!

Marjie, I prefer the greek summer vacation too!

Oh Susan, you flatter me (check's in the mail)!

Maria, you're welcome…hope it's enjoyed.

Natashya, the Danforth has to get it's act together. Greek food is more than just souvlaki and roast potatoes.

Ben, I think of Greece in 2009 aleady!

Neverfull, it's that charred, smoky against tender inside of the squid, Ummmm.

Oh Sticky, I'm sure your soup was awesome, like all your food.

Judy, you'll love this…believe me? lol

Anna, chances are it was overcooked…easy to do.

Petermarcus…grilled squid is to die for…you might forgo the fried stuff.

Noob, wow…I'm floored…that's humbling, TY!

Marc, grilled calamari will not disappoint.

Dhanngit, salamat!

Joanne, this is a wonderful way to grill them…give it a go.

Kittie, aye..invest in a grill.

Kiwi, you're right – this could tempt the seafood avoider!

Nina, charred is THE word here.
Val, will do but I think you're overdo for that next Greece trip.

Darius, give grilled calamari a try and then decide.

glamah16

says:

That griiled well seasoned souvlaki looks amazing. I want bite. I see you had lots of female company. The B King rules in Greece.

giz

says:

This could be an interesting skewer to make. It’s one of those recipes that I look at and say “hmmm wonder how that would work”

Jeanne

says:

That’s such a great idea – never thought to combine calamari (which I love) with souvlaki skewers. Inspired!

Rose

says:

Oh Peter you make food just too good to be true, I so look forward to recieving your blogs, so much so that I now design all my meals based on your principles. Its very healthy, wholesome and best of all “clean” food that nourishes not only our bodies but also our spirits. Keep up the good work. Cheers, Rose, Melbourne, Australia.

says:

This looks gorgeous! I suspect the trick is timing the squid on the grill. It’s a bit of an art, not one that I’ve fully mastered despite many attempts, knowing when to pull the squid from the fire, whether that be the grill or the saute pan. Too soon and you have a glove of slimy flesh, a bit too long and it’s hopelessly sinewy. A few minutes on each side until charred, as you say, sounds about right. Btw, I see your recipe calls for yellow peppers. Have you found a source for these in Greece? From my experience in the Athens farmer markets there seems to be just one producer in Drama who cultivates these (what a missed opportunity). The rest are high-priced imports from the Netherlands or Israel.

Your blog is wonderful, and I keep coming back to it for inspiration and recipes. Thanks. S./