Grilled Calamari with Lobster Mayonnaise


In a sense, this dish is like a warm salad, with tomato and purple basil underneath the hot grilled calamari. There is a play of temperatures, as well as the different textures of smooth mayonnaise and tart vinaigrette. If you don’t have lobster essence, use a basil, olive, anchovy-rosemary, or lemon-black pepper mayonnaise.


  • 4 pounds fresh squid
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh marjoram leaves
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • cup lobster essence
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups tomato concasse
  • 1 cup whole purple or green basil leaves


Clean the squid as directed in the preceding recipe, but leave the bodies whole. Combine ½ cup of the oil and the marjoram in a bowl. Stir in the squid and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Mix the mayonnaise and lobster essence; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Start a charcoal fire or heat the broiler.

Thread the squid heads and bodies alternately on skewers, putting the skewers through the closed or tail end of the bodies.

Mix salt and pepper to taste into the lemon juice and whisk in the remaining olive oil. Mix in the tomato and all but a few of the basil leaves.

Grill or broil the squid for 2 minutes on each side. Put the tomato salad on warm plates, then the squid in the center of the salad. Spoon some of the mayonnaise over the squid. Serve the rest separately. Garnish the plates with the remaining basil leaves.