One of Edgartown’s newest hot spots shares a recipe for fried calamari, thanks to chef Jeremy Davis. He suggests several sauces that taste great with this appetizer: tomato basil (recipe follows), sweet chili, tarter, or remoulade.

Serves 2

  • 1 pound clean squid, including tentacles; bodies cut into 1/2-inch rings
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk with 1/2 teaspoon salt added
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Cajun seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil, for frying
  • Parsley and lemon wedges, for garnish

1. Soak squid in salted buttermilk for about 20 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together.

3. Heat oil in a fryer or heavy saucepan until it reaches 350 degrees. Remove squid from buttermilk and toss in flour/cornstarch mixture till coated. Fry, one handful at a time, for 1 minute or until lightly golden. Lay fried squid on paper towels to drain excess oil.

4. Garnish with lightly chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

Tomato Basil Sauce

More than enough to use as a dipping sauce for the calamari, this recipe can also be used for meatballs and pasta.

Makes about 4 cups

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion
  • 1 clove fresh peeled garlic, crushed
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup lightly chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted sweet cream butter
  • V8 vegetable juice to taste (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and crushed garlic, and sauté until smell is strong and color becomes a light brown, about 3 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes and basil. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim froth off top (that’s the tomato acid). Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and simmer for 10 more minutes.

3. Turn off heat, add butter, and stir until completely combined. Let cool.

4. Pulse in a blender to make the sauce smooth for dipping. If it’s too thick, add a little V8 juice, which also adds flavor.

This recipe was originally published with the article, The Lure of Squid.