Squid & Heirlooms

July 24, 2010

A hundreth knyghtes mo… and four hundreth to bote, squieres of gode aray.
~Robert Manning of Brunne, Langtoft’s Chronicle (1330)

Said to be the ancestor of all cultivated tomatoes, they are the smaller garden varieties of these exquisite fruits. Pop(s) a shots, of sorts. The varieties abound: black, red & yellow plum, black cherry, red & yellow pears, coyote, green grapes, Isis Candy, Cuban yellow grapes.

For me, I adore that audacious rainbow coalition…differing hues, shades—vivid yellows, pinks, reds, purples, oranges, golds, and even bicolors to boot. A chromatic scheme that naturally creates harmony. And then the shapes. From precisely spherical to slightly oblong to grape or pear like. Artful imperfection, everytime I look at you.


1 lb squid. cleaned, rinsed and patted dry
3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 plump, fresh garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb mutlicolored heirlooom “cherry” tomatoes

2-3 T fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

Cut the squid body into ringlets and leave the tentacles intact. In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil to medium and add the garlic. When the garlic sizzles (but does not brown), add the squid, then salt and pepper. Stir and raise the heat to medium high until the squid runs from opaque to white in “color.” Add the tomatoes and cook until just heated through, yet not broken. Make double sure the squid is cooked briefly, or rubber will ensue. Stir in the tarragon and serve.

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