Vegetable and Calamari Eskabeche
Source: Shawn Naputi, Prubechu
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on August 20, 2016.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, julienned
2 cloves garlic, shaved thinly on a mandolin
25 grams (about 1 ounce) peeled turmeric
¼ cup sugar
2 cups rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Salt to taste
5 small (baby) potatoes
4 Jimmy Nardello peppers
5 yellow wax beans
Freshly ground black pepper
6 leaves Little Gem lettuce
4 whole Monterey Bay calamari
To make the eskabeche: Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and onion to the pan and sweat the onion until almost translucent. Add the garlic. Grate the turmeric over the onion and garlic mixture using a fine grater or microplane. Add the sugar, vinegar, and fish sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer, cooking until the sugar dissolves. Add salt to taste.
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Boil the potatoes, starting them in a pot of cold water, until cooked through and tender. Cut the peppers and beans into 1½-inch pieces. Season with oil, salt, and pepper, then sear in a sauté pan for color and transfer to the oven for 5 minutes to finish roasting. Remove the roasted vegetables and set aside. Smash the cooked potatoes and sear them in the same pan you used for the peppers and beans. When the potatoes have crisped, remove them and set aside. Use the same pan to sear the lettuce leaves. Combine all of the cooked vegetables in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Re-warm the eskabeche, add 4 tablespoons to the vegetables, and set aside to marinate.
Separate the calamari tentacles from the mantles. Using a knife, remove the head (eyes) and any innards that cling to the tentacles and discard. To clean the mantles, lay them on a cutting board or other flat surface and press up from the base of the mantle to the opening with the flat of your hand or fingers, squeezing the innards out. Feel inside the mantle for the pen (cartilage) and remove. Cut the mantles into slices about ¼ inch thick. Season the tentacles and mantles with salt and pepper and sear in a hot pan with a little bit of oil for 3 minutes, being careful not to overcook. Add the calamari to the vegetable mixture and serve immediately.
Photo by Ariana Vanrenen.