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Peri-peri calamari with chorizo sausage and a fresh spinach salad

Crispy fried calamari with a fresh spinach salad with apple, avo and a balsamic glaze dressing will go down well with a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc for dinner.

Had your fill of curries and stews? Now that the weather is warming up a little, it’s time to whip up some lighter meals for dinner. This delicious peri-peri- calamari and chorizo sausage recipe served with a tasty spinach salad will be a hit with your family.

Peri-peri calamari recipe with chorizo sausage

Peri-peri calamari recipe with chorizo sausage / Picture: iStock


For the dressing:

  • 2 large dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp (5ml) flaky sea salt
  • juice and finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp (10ml) chilli oil
  • 1 tsp (5ml) powdered chilli
  • 1 fresh, deseeded and finely chopped red chilli
  • 1 ½ tsp (7.5ml) paprika

For the calamari:

  • 800g cleaned tubes and tentacles calamari
  • 2 litres boiling water
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
  • 1 large skinned chorizo sausage
  • 3 cloves peeled and finely chopped garlic
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ½ cup (125ml) chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 lemon wedges

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  1. First make the dressing. Use a mortar and pestle to pound the bay leaves and salt to a coarse powder. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and stir well to combine.
  2. Cut along the long sides of the calamari tubes and spread flat. Scrape away the membranes and score the inner side of the flesh into a diamond pattern, using the tip of a sharp knife. (If the tubes are very small, leave them whole.)
  3. Fill a large bowl with the just-boiled water. Drop the tubes and tentacles into the water, leave for 1 minute, drain, and pat quite dry with kitchen paper.
  4. Heat 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of the olive oil in a frying pan set over a medium-high heat. Crumble half the chouriço sausage and finely slice the other half. Sizzle the chouriço pieces in the hot oil for a minute or two, or until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Turn the heat under the pan to its maximum and fry the calamari tubes and tentacles, in small batches, for 1 1⁄2 minutes, but no longer.
  5. Tip the calamari into a mixing bowl. Wipe out the frying pan, add another tablespoon of oil, turn down the heat and gently fry the garlic for 1 minute, without allowing it to brown. Pour in the prepared dressing and bubble, over a low heat, for another minute. Tip the calamari and sausage bits back into the pan, turn up the heat, and cook for a further minute, or until heated right through. Season with pepper and more salt, if necessary.
  6. Tip the calamari onto a heated platter. Scatter with chopped parsley and serve hot, with lemon wedges, crusty bread and a fresh spinach salad.

*This recipe was found on and extracted from Scrumptious Food for Family & Friends by Jane-Anne Hobbs (Random House Struik).

Easy spinach salad

Spinach recipe
Spinach, apple and avo salad / Picture: iStock


For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Dash of salt and ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 300g fresh spinach
  • 2 large apples, cored andthinly sliced
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup roughly chopped candied pecans or pecans, can use walnuts or almonds
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese


  1. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. To assemble the salad, place the spinach, apple slices, avocado, red onion, pecans, and cheese in a large bowl. When ready to serve, drizzle with dressing and toss. Alternatively, you can plate the salads and serve the dressing on the side.

*This recipe was found on

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