Smoked spiced salt and pepper calamari with almond aïoli

Smoked spiced salt and pepper calamari with almond aïoli

By
From
Botanical
Serves
4
Photographer
William Meppem

Salt and pepper calamari is almost the national dish of Australia – when I first arrived here I couldn’t believe the number of restaurant and café menus that featured it! So when we opened the Botanical I knew we had to come up with our own version. I have a love for all things Spanish and this spicing, primarily of smoked paprika and ras el hanout, truly invigorates the delicate flavour of our local calamari. Try to source smaller calamari and buy fresh, never frozen. Another guideline for calamari: always ensure both oil and pan are extremely hot before cooking.

Almond aïoli

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g almond flakes, toasted
3 garlic cloves
pinch salt
2 lemons, juiced
4 egg yolks
300ml sunflower oil
salt and smoked paprika
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur

Beetroot salad

Quantity Ingredient
4 medium beetroots
75ml olive oil
100ml clear honey
100ml modena balsamic vinegar
small handful thyme leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Chef’s note

  • The spices used for the calamari make a very versatile salt and pepper mix, but to enjoy it to its full potential make sure you buy a good-quality ras el hanout. You will love salt and pepper onion rings with this mixture: simply slice onion rings thinly, dip in milk then the spiced flour and shallowfry until crisp, drain and serve. In the salad, use a combination of blood oranges and valencia when blood oranges are in season.
Tags:
restaurant
chef
high end
cuisine
Botanical
complex
challenging
fine dining
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