Marinated Calamari & Fennel Salad (Woolworths Masterchef SA Series)

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Marinated Calamari & Fennel Salad

When Woolworths approached me to be one of their Masterchef SA bloggers, I was over-the-moon. Not only is Woolworths my first choice supermarket for groceries (and shoes, clothes, handbags…), they are also one of the best brands in South Africa (in my opinion). So being associated with them is just wonderful. And to do be blogging about Masterchef SA is the cherry on top! I just love the Masterchef franchise and if last week’s first episode was anything to go by, this is going to be a very exciting series! Go have a look at The Pantry on the Woolworths website to see all the recipes, ideas and tips.

As my first recipe for the Woolworths/Masterchef SA series, I decided to make a delicious marinated calamari and fennel salad as the contestants were asked to create cold dishes for the first round of auditions.

Marinated Calamari & Fennel Salad


When you think of Summer you think of beaches, cocktails, sun-kissed skin and easy entertaining. That’s where this delicious salad comes in. Taking all of 20 minutes from prep to plate, this salad will not only wow your guests but also requires minimum effort from you.

I used 500g of fresh Patagonian calamari from Woolworths (such a treat as they come in easy-to-use tub) and gave them a quick sear before adding them to fresh and zesty dressing along with the thinly sliced fennel.

I love serving the salad at room temperature as part of a tapas board but if you wanted to you could serve it on a bed of rocket or watercress with some grilled sourdough. And, of course, a glass of ice cold Chenin Blanc (or three)!

Marinated Calamari & Fennel Salad

Serves 4-6 as part of a Tapas board

for the marinade
50ml olive oil
50ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of approximately 2 lemons)
zest of 1 lemon
3T fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1t salt
1/2 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

500g Woolworths Calamari Tubes and Tentacles
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Heat a large frying pan and fry the calamari in a few T olive oil for 30 seconds until cooked through but still tender.
  3. Place the cooked calamari and sliced fennel in the marinade.
  4. Coat the calamari and fennel in the marinade and allow to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Serve on a bed of rocket or as part of a tapas board.
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Showing 6 comments
  • afracooking

    I love calamari – this looks like a beautiful way to prepare them! I must try this sometime!

  • nadia

    This looks fantastic.. thinking about making it tonight as a starter!

  • Reply

    Yum! What a combination of flavors and ingredients. This is my kind of dish.

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