I tackled fresh squid recently, on a whim, after work, passing by the fish guy’s. While he didn’t have the seiche (cuttlefish) I was looking for, he offered me a couple of fillets of his best encornet.

Squid is easy to clean, easy to cook and easy to ruin, but I managed to get it right somehow using a hot pan, a little water and about three minutes for each side. I left them whole and stuffed them with a rough home made basil and ricotta pesto with rocket and cherry tomatoes. The quinoa gave a good body to the stuffing and with a little walnut oil it was great on the side. My love affair with this south American grain may never end…



2 squid

150gr pine nuts

handful of baby tomatoes

150gr fresh ricotta

rocket leaves

2 cups quinoa

5 tablespoons walnut oil (olive oil will do too)

some fresh basil leaves


If the fishmonger as gutted the squid (ask him to) then all you need to do is remove the membrane like skin from each piece of squid, leaving the tentacles if you wish. Rinse well under running water. Before you cook the squid heat a pan and add the quinoa with a little oil. Once the quinoa is nicely toasted add 2 cups cold water and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce the heat and leave to simmer. The quinoa will be cooked once it has absorbed all the water.

Then make your pesto. In a dry pan lightly toast your pine nuts and set aside. Then in a pestle and mortar crush the basil leaves with the ricotta and pine nuts and some of the rocket with the walnut oil.

To cook the squid, heat a little oil in a pan and cook the squid on each side for several minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water to prevent it from drying out. Be careful not to overcook. The squid should not take more then a few minutes on each side becoming opaque but not tough or chewy.

Serve stuffed with a little pesto and quinoa.