Calamari con Salsa Verde

Or… Squid with Green Sauce 

Squid sauce paleo

Griddled Squid with Courgettes, Carrots and Salsa Verde

Squid with green sauce vs Calamari with Salsa Verde?  Sadly there is something about the English language that doesn’t quite match the heat of Italian on the sexy labelling of food barometer…

I’m trying to get more adventurous with my eats at the moment.  It’s been all too easy when busy/lacking inspiration to fall on my stewed or plain roasted meat & veg favourites, and I’ve started to notice that I don’t eat nearly enough fish or seafood.  Luckily it seems all that was required to spark my inspiration was a long overdue trip to a supermarket that stocks more than a can of tuna or a packaged fillet of salmon.  Browsing the delights of the fish counter I decided to opt for some squid.  I have always loved my seafood (spaghetti ai frutta di mare used to be my favourite dish) and there isn’t nearly enough of it on the blog.  Rotating your sources of food on a regular basis is important to avoid building up intolerances to certain foods as well as adding some variety to life!

With my new found love of anchovies at the forefront of my mind, I remembered my 2013 resolution to have a go at making up Salsa Verde.  Salsa Verde is a herby & fragrant green sauce, with only a barely noticeable tang of anchovy.  As well as adding fantastic taste to any grilled meat, seafood or fish it it doubles up as a fantastic way to pack more health beneficial herbs into your diet.  

Salsa Verde Paleo

Salsa Verde – including fresh lemon, chives, basil and parsley

I’m following a Low-FODMAP diet at the moment so I have omitted the garlic from the sauce – you may like to include it for extra tang.  Also feel free to add more or less olive oil to the sauce depending on how ‘drippy’ you’d like it. 

Ingredients – For the Salsa Verde (makes enough for a few meals and will keep in the fridge for a few days):

  • Large handful chives, flat parsley, fresh basil (approx 20g of each)
  • 50g tin of anchovies, drained (approx 10 anchovies)
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons of capers
  • (2 cloves of garlic – optional)
  • 90mls oil (I used 65mls Extra-virgin oil + 25mls avocado oil)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Method:  Place all the ingredients (bar the oil) into a food mixer and blend till a paste forms, you may need to scrape down the sides.  Gradually pour the oil into the mixer till fully combined.  Taste and season – as the anchovies and capers are already salty you may not need much extra salt.


Ingredients – For the final dish (Serves 2):

  • 4 small yellow carrots, cut into ‘chips’
  • 3 small orange carrots, cut into ‘chips’
  • 1 large courgette, sliced into rounds
  • 2 whole squid, thoroughly cleaned, de-boned, and sliced into rings 
  • 2 Tablespoons of Salsa Verde
  • Extra parsley to serve


  • Drizzle the carrot chips with tsp oil (I used macadamia), and salt, and roast in the oven for 30-35 mins at 180 degrees Celsius (fan)
  • Meanwhile, heat up a griddle pan with tsp of oil (I used ghee) and fry the courgettes on both sides till cooked.  You could roast them but I like the pretty grill lines.  Once done remove the courgettes and add a little more ghee to the pan if necessary (or clarified butter – both work well for cooking seafood).  Add the squid and cook for 2 minutes on each side until charred.
  • Combine the squid & courgettes with 2 Tablespoons of Salsa Verde and set aside till the carrots are done.  Then pile on top of the roasted carrots.  Add a few extra bits of parsley to finish it off.

You could separate any part of this dish, and serve up with other sides/mains, and I promise it would be equally delicious.  The squid & courgettes alone would be a great tapas-style dish.  Works hot or cold.

squid paleo sauce

Griddled Squid & Courgettes with Salsa Verde

I’ve got leftovers in my lunch box tomorrow. Beats a soggy sandwich any day!


7 thoughts on “Calamari con Salsa Verde

  1. Mikey

    Ciao Ceri, yet another tempter,but I think i might be naughty and use it to mix into some pasta !!!!!! Grazie.

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  3. Ruth

    I tried Ceri’s immense squid and green sauce the other night. I didn’t have much squid so piled up the carrots and courgettes and served it as a big plate starter for my dinner guests to dive into with a fork each ahead of a heartier main course. I failed miserably on just one front though – I didn’t take a pic before it all got gobbled up! Sorry. It did however make me determined to put the leftovers to great use and here’s a pic of my lunch the following day of cold roast chuck coated in salsa verde, spinach, avo and sauerkraut. I love clean eating, I’m relatively Paleo and never have any qualms coming home from work and cooking up dinner from products with just a single ingredient. Where I do come a bit unstuck though is sauces. If chopped tomatoes or puree aren’t going to help me out I don’t usually bother. I find it time consuming and all a bit indulgent for a week night. I am however really glad I bothered with the salsa verde. It gave a divine edge to the carrots, squid and courgettes when hot and then it was ace on the cold chicken salad leftovers. As I typically didn’t have any of the fresh herbs required (everything but!) in my fridge it came in at about £5 to make but given it was divine and I lapped up all the leftovers AND sneakily fed my anchovy-loathing sister and husband uh, anchovies it was worth every penny. A resounding saucy success. It’s also given me lots more confidence to try further sauce creations in future.

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  6. Sarah

    I was searching for a low FODMAP salsa verde recipe & stumbled on this recipe. It sounds yummy. I’m not really fond of squid, so I’m going to serve it with blackened cod instead. Looking forward to trying it. 🙂


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