Summer Squid Salad

with avocado and lime

I’m counting down the days until our vacation! We haven’t gone on a long vacation in a while, and I’m not sure if this is even considered a long vacation, but it’s almost a full week! It’s always weird to be gone more than a couple of days. First, Kramer and I are taking the train down to Washington D.C. to spend two days. I’ve never been there before, and I even found a hotel with a pool, so I’m excited. My first stop is definitely going to be the National Museum of American History – that’s the museum with all of the old movie props and whatnot. Clearly that is a priority. I suppose we’ll hit up the Air and Space Museum, too, but other than that, I just want to chill out by the pool, walk around and have some good food. My brother Dane is meeting Kramer and me out there, too. He’s in Baltimore studying at the University of Maryland, so it’ll be good to see him. Dane isn’t meeting us until Saturday, though, so Kramer and I are trying to decide what fancy restaurant we should go to on Friday night. Does anyone have any suggestions? After DC, on Sunday, the three of us are driving from to the Outer Banks in North Carolina to stay at a beach house with Kramer’s dad and the rest of his family. I can’t wait to go to the beach, sit down and not move for hours. There’s a pool at the house, too, so we will be enjoying the best of both worlds. I’ve mapped out a few BBQ pit-stops along the way, but again, I am open to any and all suggestions.

Summer Squid SaladMy awesome Nirvana/Hansen shirt, chowing down at Dickson’s Farmstand, watching the experts do a little butchering, and walking around downtown Williamsburg.

Some of the photos I’m sharing today come from the class that Kramer and I took last week at Dickson’s Farmstand Meats. I saw an article about the class on First We Feast a month or two ago and was completely sold on the class. I’m a married, privileged, middle-class woman, so of course I enjoy taking cooking classes. We’ve taken a few at The Brooklyn Kitchen, so it was strange going somewhere else, but we really had the best time. We got to watch the pros break down and butcher a whole big, learned about the charcuterie making process, watched their head butcher break down pork chops like she was slicing through butter, and made our own sausages. We also ate our weight in sausage, pastrami, house made bologna, pork chops and more. I was honestly stuffed by the time we left. We also drank plenty of rose and beer. The class was $70 and I felt like I had a gourmet meal and a show all rolled into one. If you’re in New York or the surrounding area, I promise that they didn’t pay me to say this – you should really go. It was a fantastic time, plus, the butchering area is freezing cold so it’s a great thing to do in the dead of summer.

Summer Squid Salad

Speaking of keeping cool, as you may have guessed, there’s nothing I adore more in the summer than an icy cold glass of white wine. I love seeing the condensation collect on the glass, picking it up and taking a refreshing sip of a crisp, juicy white. Kramer used to eschew white wine when we would go out, but after seeing how delicious a big, cold glass looks, he’s started ordering it for himself. So, when Bridlewood contacted me and asked if I’d create a recipe for their Chardonnay, I said, “Yes, please!” I promise that I wasn’t mad that I had to do a little wine tasting to come up with my recipe. While sampling the California wines, I was happy and relaxed, so I wanted to cook something that wouldn’t eat up (haw haw haw) too much of my time. I landed on a simple, summery squid salad. The process is simple: quickly cook your squid in boiling water for 60 seconds, dunk in ice water to stop the cooking process and be sure that your squid stays tender, then toss with a little olive oil, jalapeño, lime juice and avocado. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so that the flavors develop, add a little salt and pepper to taste, and that’s it. I threw this together one night after work, then poured Kramer and myself big glasses of Chardonnay – the citrusy notes in the wine complimented the salad perfectly, so we may or may not have finished the whole bottle on a Thursday night. They do call it Thirsty Thursday, right? I know we’re not in college anymore, but sometimes when it’s humid and hot outside, my brain starts to fog over and the only sure is a refreshing summer meal and a chilled glass of white wine!

Summer Squid SaladThe pig before it was butchered at Dickson’s, some beautiful pork chops, rubbing some meat and an A+ label on a container at the shop.

Summer Squid SaladChop all of your ingredients, except for the squid, and set aside.

Summer Squid SaladClean your squid well, then chop and cook for 60 seconds or so.

Summer Squid SaladDrop your cooked squid in ice water to stop the cooking process and to cool it down.

Summer Squid SaladDrain your squid from the ice water and set aside.

Summer Squid SaladToss the squid with the rest of your ingredients.

Summer Squid SaladRefrigerate for a few hours before serving or serve immediately.

Summer Squid Salad

Summer Squid Salad
A chilled summer salad made with fresh squid, avocado and lime for a light, seasonal meal.
  • 1 pound fresh squid, cleaned
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, minced
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Halve the squid tentacles and cut the tops into ½-inch thick rings. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the squid and cook for 60-90 seconds, until opaque. Remove the squid and place in an ice bath to stop the squid from cooking any further. Drain and set aside.
  2. Combine shallots, jalapeños, lime juice, bell pepper, cilantro and olive oil and toss. Add in the cooked and chilled squid, avocado, salt and red pepper flakes. Toss and taste, then adjust for seasonings as you see fit. Serve alongside tortilla chips or crusty bread and a chilled glass of Bridlewood Chardonnay!


22 Responses

  1. Allie says:

    Thanks for the recipe! We want to eat more salad, but sometimes it just gets so repetitive… so it’s good to have inspiration like this.

    I’m pretty familiar with DC! I think a couple days there is good… wouldn’t want to do much longer! 😛 I would add to your list the Smithsonian zoo because it’s free (like… actually free, not like The Met “free”) and really quite a good zoo. Elephants! Pandas! Tigers! Etc.

    As for food, I think Little Serow is a really cool (and tasty) food experience – it can be hard to get in if you’re going on weekends though! It’s only open for dinner, and no reservations allowed – its exclusivity rivals snooty New York joints. So we usually either waited out a long wait list with cocktails at nearby JR’s Bar & Grill — or Hank’s Oyster Bar! Which also has really good food. I am also a big fan of Churchkey for tasty beers, tater tots, disco fries, pickles, and grilled cheese.

  2. Susie says:

    I love squid! Can’t wait to try this salad. As for DC restaurants: hit up Lincoln. Fun atmosphere, incredible food and awesome cocktails. I also love Vidalia (fancy southern), Zaytinya (greek/lebanese), Zengo (asian/latin fusion, if you are in town on the weekend, their bottomless brunch is amazing), Bibiana (Italian), Bistro Bis (French), Fisher Farmers Bakers also for brunch (not your average brunch buffet). Also try to make time to get cupcakes at Baked and Wired in Georgetown. Please post about your DC trip. I love reading about people visiting and eating here.

  3. Jen says:

    Hi Sydney! I’ve never commented before, but I love, love, love your blog. Your food is always gorgeous and I like how it seems to permeate your life. If you’re in D.C. on Friday, you should stop by Jazz in the Garden ( They have live jazz in the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery. My fiancé and I like to pack picnics and hang out and listen to Jazz to start the weekend off. It’s right on the mall, so convenient to all the museums (which stay open late during the summer). Hope you enjoy your visit; looking forward to seeing some photos!

  4. Fei-fei says:

    I usually take my out of town guests to Old Ebbitt Grill or Founding Farmers. They aren’t super fancy, but they are well known in DC. I haven’t been to Rose’s Luxury or Le Diplomate, but I’ve heard good things about both.

  5. Lynn K says:

    You would absolutely love the National Gallery of Art in DC. Have a great trip!

  6. Kerry says:

    Birch and Barley (and their bar upstairs Church Key) are awesome. I’m not sure if you’re a big beer person, but they have an amazing selection there and if you’re going to be there between 8/17 and 8/24, it’s Beer Week in DC! We had an excellent dinner with beers pairings (which were explained expertly and in great detail) at Birch and Barley last year during Beer Week.

    And if you need a good lunch spot, go get the half smokes with chili at Ben’s Chili Bowl!

  7. Jane M says:

    Tapas – go to Barcelona. My daughter lives in DC and says it’s great. Don’t miss The First Lady exhibit in the American museum. It’s really fun to see!

  8. dayisnight says:

    I love squid! Can’t wait to try this.

  9. The chef I work for has a summer octopus salad on his menu right now and it’s one of my favorite dishes at his restaurant! I’ll have to try this squid version, too.

  10. Brian says:

    Just to pile on the DC dinning recommendations…Roses Luxury is a MUST try. They don’t take reservations but if you get your name on the list you can enjoy a few tasty cocktails at Barrel down the street while you wait. Win-Win.
    A perfect spot for a summer night is Fiola Mare. It is right on the Georgetown waterfront with awesome views and incredibly fresh seafood prepared with Italian influences. Even if you don’t do dinner, highly recommend just going for the oysters/crudo and a drink. A unique spot is Rasika for Indian food, the chef just won a James Beard award and has received 4 stars for his food regularly. Last one, Daikaya. This is a two for one, with Sapporo-style ramen on the first floor and izakaya on the second floor.
    For cocktails/beer, check out Churchkey, Right Proper Brewhouse, Jack Rose, Southern Efficiency, Passenger (pretty much any bar that Derek Brown has opened) or 2 Birds 1 Stone.
    Enjoy your visit and I can’t wait to hear where you went!

  11. hungrytexans says:

    Little Serow is incredible and super spicy. Iron Gate is a lovely splurge!

  12. Fatima Monkush says:

    1) Spy Museum. You get to crawl through an air duct and spy on people!
    2) minibar (

  13. Colleen says:

    I’ve heard wonderful things about Oyamel near The Verizon Center in D.C. If you are near South Capital stop in at Banana Cafe for a mojioto, they make the best. While at the beach make sure to check out Weeping Radish Farm Brewery.

  14. Sophie says:

    Rose’s Luxury or Blue Duck Tavern – the latter is so lovely, we had our wedding dinner there! If you like bone marrow, it’s a bust, as is their 12+ hour suckling pig. Check out Eastern Market for a food+random stuff fix Saturday or Sunday morning.

  15. […] Summer Squid Salad – Yes, yes yesssssssss! […]

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