Seared calamari with smashed avocado

By Michael Bonacini
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This designer bite from chef Michael Bonacini made with smashed avocado, topped with seared calamari, fresh pico de gallo, a drizzle of yoghurt, and picked cilantro, lime wedges and shaved radish is sure to impress your guests at your next special gathering. 



Smashed Avocado

  • 2 avocados
  • 3-4 dashes chipotle Tabasco
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Pico de Gallo

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, finely diced
  • 3-4 dashes chipotle Tabasco
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Seared Squid

  • 6 pieces small to medium squid, cleaned with tubes sliced ½-inch thick and tentacles split in half
  • 2-3 splashes of olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper


  • ¼ cup picked cilantro leaves
  • ½ lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 small radishes, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • ½ bag blue corn tortilla chips


For the Smashed Avocado

  1. Cut avocado in half and remove pit.
  2. Using a spoon, scoop the avocado into a mixing bowl.
  3. Use the back of the spoon or a fork to crush avocado into a coarse mixture.
  4. Add Tabasco, lime juice, chopped cilantro, olive oil and salt. Mix to incorporate all ingredients.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

For the Pico de Gallo

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, Tabasco, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Stir ingredients together and set aside.

For the Seared Squid

  1. Place heavy-bottomed skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium high.
  2. Heat olive oil in the pan, then place the squid to sear.
  3. Season squid with salt and pepper, and allow to cook for a few minutes until firm and opaque in colour. Note that the squid will cook quickly over the high heat, and overcooking will result in a tough and chewy texture.
  4. Remove squid from the pan, place in a small bowl, and set aside.

To Build the Plate

  1. Spoon the smashed avocado onto the centre of a large serving platter.
  2. Place the seared squid on top of the smashed avocado. Serve and enjoy!

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