Dinner Tonight: Squid and White Bean Salad
I'm a sucker for a good white bean salad. Why? Well, there's just something about the combination of creamy white beans, good olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and fresh herbs that is truly satisfying, especially since I know I didn't have to work to hard to make it. Sure, you can cook dried white beans for hours and have an exceptional version, but after a good rinse, canned beans do a truly admirable job. But a white bean salad needs a partner for a full dinner. I've seen a few variations over the years, but I was particularly interested in this recipe from Leslie Glover Pendleton's Simply Shellfish, because it pairs the beans with squid.
It certainly works, even though I was initially concerned about the cooking technique. The vast majority of squid recipes tend to grill the tentacled cephalopod over high heat for a few seconds—just long enough to cook it before it turns to rubber. Along with cooking the squid quickly, it lends an appealing charred flavor. But here the squid is boiled, which I worried wouldn't be nearly as flavorful. Luckily, while it's missing the distinct grilled aroma, boiling does cook the pieces more evenly, which actually works better in this application. Each bite of squid is tender, not squishy, which meshes beautifully with the truly flavorful white bean salad and some crusty bread.