Calamari & Spiced Beetroot Salad: Recipe

The City Lane was invited to an event organised by the Maribrynong City Council and Haystac last week. The event was Footscray Fresh Food Markets presents Adam D’Sylva (Coda, Tonka) & Frank Camorra (Movida). You can read all about the event here and here. Both chefs prepared some amazing dishes for us to eat on the night, with our highlight being Camorra’s calamari & spiced beetroot salad. Thanks to Camorra and the organisers we’ve got our hands on the recipe and are thrilled to be able to share it with you.

calamari & spiced beetroot salad

Preparation Time: 10 minutes          /          Cooking Time: 2 hours        /          Serves 4



  • 2 whole medium calamari, cleaned & gutted, skin on
  • 250ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • sea salt

Spiced Beetroot Salad:

  • 5 medium beetroot
  • 2 small brown onions, unpeeled
  • 1 garlic head
  • 1 tsp (5g) fennel seeds
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (60ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15g) chopped mint leaves



  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C fan forced.
  2. Wrap each beetroot in foil and place on a baking tray with the onions and garlic and bake for 40 minutes, or until the onions are cooked through. Remove the garlic and onions and continue baking the beetroot for a further 40 minutes. Remove the beetroot from the oven and allow to cool
  3. With a sharp knife peel the beetroot and slice into 3-4mm discs and then cut into 1cm wide strips. Place in a bowl.
  4. Peel the onions and cut into this strips and add to the beetroot.
  5. Cut the end off the garlic head and squeeze the roasted garlic pulp into the beetroot and onion.
  6. Toast the fennel seeds in a small frying pan for 1-2 minutes until you see the change in the colour of the seeds and the kitchen fills with the aroma of fennel.
  7. Place the seeds in a pestle and mortar and lightly pound to break them up a little. Add to the beetroot with the chopped mint.
  8. In a small bowl mix the olive oil, lemon juice and white wine vinegar. Season with sea salt and mix through the beetroot.
  9. Move on to the squid by placing the olive oil in a large pan over a medium low heat and add the garlic cloves.
  10. When the oil is quite warm but not hot place the calamari, including the legs, into the pan and cover with a lid. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the cover and turn the calamari. Cover once again and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan so that the calamari doesn’t stick.
  11. Remove the calamari from the heat and slice it into evenly sized pieces.
  12. Place even amounts of the beetroot mixture across 4 plates and top evenly with the sliced calamari.



For this dish you can prepare the beetroot the day before if you want and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook the dish the next day.



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