Grilled squid and kohlrabi salad with lemon-garlic vinaigrette

Man, it’s just been too nice out! How could anyone sit in front of the computer when there’s a vegetable garden to water, or a praying mantis egg sac to check for hatchlings, or white wine hangovers to nurse? Can’t beat Portland in the summer.

Scott had to attend a work-dinner thing with the uppity-up-mucky-muck of his company this evening (business cazh in 90+ heat, poor guy), so I had my sweet friend from small times, Jason, over for dinner. Jason and I used to cook and eat together once in awhile a looooong time (when I was still vegetarian), when I was really into perfecting tuna casseroles and tweaking a pack of ramen. I’ve come some ways since then, and so has he.

I had some squids thawed in the fridge and was craving sunshiny Mediterranean flavors. I really needed to eat some of the kohlrabi in the garden, had some lemons and a bag of mixed greens. I’d been tossing ideas around all day (I also have an ungodly amount of Nero di Toscano kale and collards, both of which are the size of a 3rd-grader), but settled on a nice salad at the last minute. The “last minute” was determined by coming home to the chagrin of open windows on a really hot day.

I rinsed the squids (pre-cleaned, thank goodness) and dressed them in lots of chopped garlic, the juice and zest of one lemon, a coupla tbsp chopped fresh marjoram, an ample drizzle of good olive oil and some S&P. I cut a kohlrabi into matchsticks and added them to the marinade, which was by now turning my squid into ceviche. A little sliced red onion was the last touch.

Hot grill pan to get some marks on the vedge, then remove to a separate bowl and hit the squid to the heat. It was too wet (and already cooked in the acid of the marinade) to get any char, but it only took a second to heat it through. I added the cooked squids to the grilled kohlrabi-onion and reduced the dressing with a hit of leftover cheap chardonnay (thanks for the hangover, Bear’s Lair!) to soften the garlic.

Cool for a minute or so to tepid, then top a plate of mixed baby greens with warm handfuls of the squid-kohlrabi-onion mixture, top with a drizzle of the warm vinaigrette. Serve with sliced baguette (copiously buttered with good Dutch butter) and my ubiquitous heirloom tomato salad. After we devoured our squid salads, we lazily pecked at open-faced sandwiches made from the salt-and-peppered tomato and cultured butter on that wonderful, soft sourdough (still bakery-cozy). Commence eye-roll and toe-curl.