Full Recipe

Seared Squid on Spanish Style Risotto


I’ve cooked this several times and have either only used whole squid or a combination of squid, baby octopus and baby cuttlefish. They all work equally well. Inspiration for this dish comes from Spain – the rice isn’t really a true risotto but I didn’t know how best to describe it. Anyway it’s a good accompaniment for grilled chicken as well as fish and seafood.

  • Ingredients (approx. for 2-4)
  • 4-6 small whole squid, cleaned or squid tubes, baby octopus or baby cuttlefish or a mix of all
  • Flour for dusting
  • Salt and pepper
  • Espelette or a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil
  • A little lemon juice
  • Finely chopped coriander
  • For the rice
  • 1 cup good quality short grain rice such as La Bomba Calasparra or Arborio
  • 2 cups hot fish stock or a mix of white wine and stock
  • 1 tin crushed tomatoes in juice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
  • 1 tsp Espelette or pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • Juice of a lemon or 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper

Heat a little olive oil in a pot and add the onion and fennel. With the lid on, cook on medium to low heat until soft, add the crushed garlic and cook for another few seconds.

Stir in the paprika and Espelette and add the rice. Stir then add the saffron, tomatoes, lemon juice and all the stock. Season. Gently simmer, stirring very occasionally. Just before it’s ready add the peas. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. When it’s ready take the pot off the heat and let the rice sit while you cook the squid. Just before serving mix in most of the coriander.

Cut the squid tubes into rings and cut the tentacles into pieces if they’re very long. Heat a heavy cast iron pan till very hot. While it’s heating, make sure the squid pieces are dry. Toss in a little flour, salt and pepper and Espelette.

Add to the hot pan with a dash of olive oil. Cook this very quickly and keep the pan very hot. If you’re cooking a lot do it in batches so the squid doesn’t stew. Add the good squeeze of lemon juice or lime right at the end. The squid will only take a couple of minutes.

To serve, place the risotto on a plate and top with the squid and the rest of the coriander.