- Prep: 20 mins
- Cook: 10 mins
- Total: 1 hr
- Yields: 10 as a starter
- 1 medium sized eggplant, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 1 pound calamari, bodies and tentacles cleaned
- 1 cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1–1½ cups white wine
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Lemon wedges
Italian Tartar Sauce:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cornichons (gherkin pickles)
- 1 anchovy fillet, smashed into a paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ of a hard-boiled egg, finely diced
Lay the eggplant on a large baking sheet lined with paper towel. Sprinkle both sides of the sliced eggplant with salt and allow it to drain on the paper towel for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the tartar sauce in a medium bowl. Chill until serving time.
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Heat about 4 inches of oil in a 5 QT Dutch oven to 325°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper and wine. Start with the eggplant. Dip each slice into the batter, letting the excess drip off. Carefully drop the eggplant into the oil and fry for about 1 minute on each side. Remove it with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. Season with salt. Continue with the remaining slices. Keep the eggplant warm in the oven while you fry the calamari.
Fry the calamari in the same fashion until the batter is golden brown, about 60-90 seconds. Remove it with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. Season with salt.
Immediately arrange eggplant and calamari on a serving platter and serve with the tartar sauce and lemon wedges.