2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
3/4 cup (185ml) extra virgin olive oil
8 small whole calamari
4 birdseye chillies, finely sliced
2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted, lightly crushed
finely grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
50g baby rocket
Tips- Remember the “tender/tough” principle with calamari. Cook it quickly and it will be tender, but go that bit further and it begins to toughen.
• Fresh is best; frozen calamari just won’t do. Ask your fishmonger to clean the calamari if you don’t know how.
• Try using the fennel and chilli oil in the recipe to flavour grilled fish or chicken. • Unlike wine, olive oils do not improve with age, so buy local and check the use-by date.
1 Place cannellini beans, 1/2 cup of oil and 2 tbsp water in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season and set aside.
2 Clean calamari, remove tentacles (do not discard) and leave hoods whole. Rinse, drain and pat dry with paper towel. Place in a shallow bowl and drizzle with 2 tbsp of oil. Scatter over chilli and toasted fennel seeds. Season well.
3 Heat a barbecue or chargrill on high until almost smoking. Cook calamari in batches for 45 secs each side, until golden. Transfer calamari and juices to a bowl. Add remaining oil, and lemon rind and juice. Toss to combine.
4 Spoon cannellini bean puree onto serving plates. Top with calamari, drizzle with juices and scatter over baby rocket. Serve.