By Tony Tantillo

Calamari and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Aquavit Executive Chef Marcus Jernmark

Serves 4

Click here for a printable version of this recipe (.pdf)

Basil Seeds


  • 3 teaspoons basil seeds, can be purchased at Asian specialty stores
  • Dash salt
  • Dash pepper
  • Dash white vinegar
  • 2 Tsp. basil, chopped


  • Place basil seeds in a small saucepot, cover with water.
  • Cook at medium heat, stirring constantly, for approximately 1 minute or until they swell.
  • Pull off the stove and allow to cool.
  • Add salt, pepper, a dash of vinegar and basil



  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes, vary in color


  • Wash each tomato
  • Cut into ¼ inch slices
  • Cut each slice cross-wise in half




  • ½ head broccoli
  • Enough oil to coat the skillet


  • Chop stalk off broccoli. Cut each floret into quarters.
  • Heat and oil skillet.
  • Sautee broccoli until the edges become crispy, slightly browned.

Parsley Oil


  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Pinch of salt


  • Remove parsley stems.
  • In a food processor puree parsley and oil.
  • Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Add a pinch of salt.

**Alternative version: a high quality first press olive oil can be used in place of the parsley oil.



  • 1 ½ lb. calamari, tubes and tentacles, cleaned fresh
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • The juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper


  • Marinate calamari in crushed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and parsley, for approximately 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


  • Grill marinated calamari over charcoal grill, at very high heat, for approximately 1 ½ – 2 minutes.
    • Watch carefully as it can quickly over cook and become inedible.
    • Remove from heat and slice tubes horizontally so you have small rings.

**Alternative version: cook in very hot, lightly oiled skillet for the same amount of time.

To Serve


  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Calamari
  • Tbs chopped basil
  • Parsley oil
  • Aged balsamic vinegar


  • In a large bowl gently combine tomatoes, broccoli, calamari and basil with enough parsley oil to coat.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Plate into four even portions, and drizzle aged balsamic vinegar over each. Garnish with a scoop of basil seeds.

Tony Tantillo


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