Pesto Calamari with Steamed Vegetables

I’ve made two exciting discoveries recently. One is the existance of a Waitrose only ten minutes walk from where I work, and the other is the cheapness of calamari. The two are connected as the former sells the latter. In fact this Waitrose is off Whitecross Street which has an excellent food market … a third exciting discovery.

Pesto Calamari with Steamed Vegetables

Preparation time:30 minutes
Cooking time:15 minutes
Skill level:Easy


For the pesto

  • basil – large bunch
  • pine nuts – 3 tbsp – lightly toasted
  • parmesan – 3 tbsp – grated
  • olive oil
  • garlic – 3 cloves
  • s & p

For the calamari

  • calamari – 250g
  • olive oil
  • garlic – 2 cloves – crushed
  • mixed vegetables such as carrot, fennel, red pepper, spring onions and courgettes – cut into batons
  • s & p

To make the pesto, put the basil, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor along with a little salt and pepper. Form a paste and then add enough olive oil to make a light purée. Pour into a bowl and stir in the parmesan.

Put the vegetables into a pan and steam until cooked but still crisp.

Wash and dry the calamari.

Heat some oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and add the garlic. Quickly fry until the garlic has some colour and throw in the calamari. Fry the calamari on a high heat until cooked (4-5 minutes).

Place the calamari on a bed of the steamed vegetables and spoon over some pesto.



Congratulation to James for winning Masterchef 2008

Verdict: Calamari are very much the latest thing in my world. I intend to eat them until the novelty wears off. Go well with pesto too.

Drink:A bottle of Summer Lightening.

Entertainment: After 428 hours of avid viewing we have eventually arrived at the FINAL of Masterchef! No great surprises here – all three contestants are bathed in an ever intensifying torrent of superlatives – several minutes of comical faux-agonising by John and particularly Gregg – James is announced the winner. Predictable stuff, but great viewing.


  1. Ok, so I didn’t follow the recipe exactly – why make pesto when you live in Rome? But boy did I F*** up the calamari. Tasted like rubber tyres that had been briefly dipped in the sea. There is no hope. To cheer myself up I bought an ipod classic – while I’m here, does Yumblog have any tips on care and maintenance? Are they sensitive to rough conditions and should I get it an isock to protect it?

  2. Hi Toria

    Sorry to hear you fucked up your c******i. Were you entertaining a boy at the time?

    Anyway, calamari has to be cooked for either a very short time or a very long time – sounds like you were somewhere in between.

    iSocks are really just to stop scratches and light bruising, you’d be better off getting something a bit more substantial from the extensive range of iGimmicks out there.

    But don’t worry, I believe Apple offer a ‘new for old’ lifetime guarantee on all their products.


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