Grilled Calamari, Bing Cherry and Mache Salad
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16 - 18 oz. calamari bodies, cleaned
8 garlic cloves, crushed
8 sprigs fresh thyme, picked and chopped
2 tsp. ground sumac (available in Middle Eastern markets)
¼ C., plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
28 Bing cherries, halved, pitted and skewered
4 russet potatoes, balled (using a 25mm melon baller)
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp., plus 1 tsp. Japanese plum paste (Ume)
1 tsp. soy sauce
1½ Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1½ Tbsp. Pinot Noir verjus
1 Tbsp., plus 1 tsp. mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
1 tsp. Hon-Dashi (dried bonito broth base), optional
½ tsp. white sesame paste
2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1/8 C. sesame oil
1/8 C. olive oil
8 oz. Mâche (gourmet field greens)
In a bowl, combine the calamari, garlic, ½ of the thyme, sumac and ¼ C. olive oil and toss. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat grill. Lightly salt the calamari and grill over high heat, 45 seconds per side. Remove and cut into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
Brush cherries with olive oil and season with salt. Grill for 45 seconds on each side. Remove from grill and take off of skewers. Set aside.
Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Blanch the potato balls in the water until tender, approximately 8 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and melt butter. Sauté potato balls until nicely caramelized. Toss with remaining thyme and remove from heat. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine plum paste, soy sauce, vinegar, verjus, mirin, Hon-Dashi , sesame paste and pomegranate molasses. Slowly whisk in the sesame oil to emulsify. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the calamari, cherries and potatoes. Drizzle with plum vinaigrette and toss to coat.
In a separate bowl, add mâche and toss with olive oil. Season with salt.
To serve: Arrange calamari mixture onto plates and top with dressed mâche. Drizzle a small amount of vinaigrette onto the plate around the salad.