With squid, you either have to cook it in a flash—for less than a minute—or else simmer or braise it slowly, for about forty-five minutes. This is a good example of the flash-cooking method, which results in tender, fresh-tasting squid.
1pound cleaned squid
Salt to taste
1cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced crosswise
3ripe plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into strips
2scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal
¼cup (loosely packed) basil leaves, roughly torn
¼cup (loosely packed) cilantro leaves, roughly torn or separated into individual leaves
1lime, peeled in vertical strips and sectioned (optional)
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Cut the squid into rings and cut the tentacles into bite-size 2- or 3-tentacle pieces. Add the onion, bay leaf, and salt to the water and simmer for 5 or 10 minutes. Add the squid and cook for 45 seconds (the water will probably not even return to a boil). Drain and refresh under cool water. Drain well and transfer to a bowl, discarding the onion and bay leaf. Add the cucumber, tomato, scallions, basil, cilantro, and lime, if using.
Stir together all dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least ½ hour, preferably longer. Taste and correct seasonings. Serve cold, garnished with cilantro sprigs.