George Calombaris' grilled calamari, watermelon, olives, goats curd, crispy vine leaves

Tender, succulent grilled calamari, fresh juicy watermelon, salty olives, creamy goats curd, and crispy vine leaves - a combination made in heaven. George Calombaris shares his recipe from his cookbook Greek.

  • 10 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Grilled calamari
  • 1/4 small watermelon
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1/3 cup vine leaves in brine
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) plain flour
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to garnish
  • 500 gram calamari, cleaned, scored and cut into bite-sized pieces, tentacles reserved
  • salt flakes and cracked pepper
  • 200 gram green olives
  • 200 gram goat's curd, broken into small piecesgoat's curd, broken into small pieces
  • flat-leaf parsley, to garnish


Grilled calamari
  • 1
    Trim the skin from the watermelon and cut the flesh into thick rectangles about 15 cm × 5 cm. Store in the fridge until needed.
  • 2
    Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep-fryer to 180°C (or in a heavy-based saucepan until a cube of bread browns in 15 seconds). Remove the vine leaves from the brine and pat dry with paper towel. Dust with flour, shaking off any excess, then deep-fry until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, heat a chargrill pan or barbecue grill or flatplate until hot. Drizzle the olive oil over the calamari and season with salt and pepper. Grill the calamari until lightly charred and the flesh has no transparency.
  • 4
    Arrange the watermelon, olives and goat's curd on a serving plate. Put the calamari and crisp vine leaves on top and finish with parsley leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and a final grinding of salt and pepper.


All you need to remember is to buy fresh and in season and your calamari will be super-tender. The crispy vine leaves are not essential, but they are a great way to introduce saltiness to the dish.

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