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LOW-FAT COOKING/DONNA DEANE

Squid Tosses a Cool Salad

July 16, 1997|DONNA DEANE | Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen

I love cool salads on hot days. This squid salad is not only light-tasting and low in fat, but also quick and inexpensive. Ethnic markets usually have an abundance of fresh squid at low prices.

The major work in preparing squid is the cleaning. First, pull the head from the body, then remove the long, clear plastic-like quill from the inner body and rinse well under cold water. After scraping off the outer skin with a knife, rinse again under cold running water. Cut the tentacles off the head in one piece and push out the beak. The squid are then ready to cook.

BAJA SQUID SALAD

2 pounds squid, cleaned

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup chopped red onion

3 plum tomatoes, diced

1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 serrano chile, chopped

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

Salt

1 head butter lettuce

Be careful not to overcook the squid or it will be tough and chewy.

Cut cleaned squid crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Cook squid and tentacles in boiling salted water to cover just until edges begin to curl, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Combine garlic, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice, chile, oregano and salt to taste. Add squid and toss. Chill.

Arrange several leaves butter lettuce on each of six plates. Spoon salad onto lettuce and serve.

6 servings. Each serving:

99 calories; 91 mg sodium; 197 mg cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 7 grams carbohydrates; 14 grams protein; 0.56 gram fiber.

* Kabayashi platter from Freehand, Los Angeles.

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