Charred Squid Skewers on Garlic Toast with Arugula

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Often squid is deep-fried, so it’s fun to grill it for a change. For tender, lightly charred squid, cook the skewers quickly over a direct fire, with the coals as close as possible to the grate. A small hibachi that you can carry down to the beach will work very well. The spiced and charred squid skewers are served over a little bed of lemony arugula, with garlic toast underneath to catch all the vinaigrette and juices. Grill the toasts before you grill the squid and set them aside in a warm place. Chermoula is a slightly spicy Moroccan sauce made with cilantro and garlic. Also try this marinade on grilled shrimp, scallop skewers, or chicken breasts.

A Step Ahead: Cut the squid and assemble the skewers up to a day ahead and store, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. Make the chermoula marinade and the lemon vinaigrette up to a day ahead and store, covered, in the refrigerator. Marinate the skewers 30 minutes before you plan to grill them.


If you buy whole squid instead of cleaned squid bodies, they will have to be cleaned. Place the whole squid on a cutting board and grasp the head and tentacles with one hand and the body with the other. Pull your hands apart. The head and tentacles will separate from the body.

Take the head and tentacle piece and, with a knife, slice off the tentacles just past the eyes. Squeeze out the hard beak and discard. Reserve the tentacles. Holding the body piece, pull out and discard the transparent quill. Use your finger to reach inside the body and pull out any remaining guts. Peel off the skin and rinse the inside of the body under running water.

Makes6 servings

Cooking Methodgrilling



Total Timeunder 2 hours

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursehot appetizer

Dietary Considerationegg-free, healthy, lactose-free, low saturated fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free



Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, savory, spiced

Type of Dishskewer


  • 2 pounds cleaned squid bodies, with or without tentacles
  • 12 or more to-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups loosely packed arugula, stems trimmed, washed and dried
  • Garlic Toasts, made on the grill
  • Lemon wedges for garnish


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