Char grilled cuttlefish salad


by: Barbie Cooking

Cuttlefish are bigger than squid and have large "bones" that often get made into earrings. They also have a little sac inside the body containing a sweet—tasting black ink, which they squirt at enemies in self-defense, and which we use in this recipe. Clean the cuttlefish in the same way as squid, being very careful not to puncture the ink sac — just pull it out whole. Sometimes the sac will have emptied when the cuttlefish was caught, so it is best to buy a little packet or jar of ink, which your fishmonger will sell separately, just in case you find no ink inside. With this sauce, we try to bring out the sweetness and full flavors of both the ink and the onion. To do this you need to cook the onion very slowly and gently, because if it burns, the sauce will taste bitter. Also, when you finish off the sauce after straining it, use a straight—sided pan because you need to keep a low flame just underneath the base. It is very important that the heat doesn't spread around the sides of the pan because, again, if you overheat it the sauce will turn bitter. The sauce can also be used for risotto and pasta.


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serves: 4

2 1/4 pounds cuttlefish (cleaned, heads reserved)

olive oil, for brushing

1 clove garlic

handful of flat-leaf parsley

4 handfuls of mixed peppery salad greens (or just mizuna, if you can get it)

3 tablespoons Oil and lemon dressing

salt and pepper

For the cuttlefish sauce:

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)

4 onions (sliced)

1 tablespoon cuttlefish ink

1 quart fish stock

salt and pepper

Nutrition Facts
Char grilled cuttlefish salad

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 512

  • Total Fat: 28 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 4.4 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 291.3 mg
  • Sodium: 1346.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 14.9 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
  •     Sugars: 5.4 g
  • Protein: 49.4 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  To make the sauce, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil very gently in a small, straight-sided pan, add the onions, then cover and sweat slowly for about 15 minutes until softened but not colored.

2.  Add the cuttlefish heads and cook uncovered, still very gently, until the juices released by the cuttlefish have completely evaporated.

3.  Add the ink and fish stock, stir until well mixed and bring to the boil. Reduce the beat and simmer for 20 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean small, straight-sided pan, pressing and squeezing the onions and heads to extract all the juices.

4.  Bring the sieved liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens and becomes very syrupy. Cover and keep warm.

5.  Cut the cuttlefish into pieces roughly 3% x 4 inches, score diagonally each way to make a diamond pattern and season with salt and pepper. Brush with a little olive oil.

6.  Crush the garlic with the back of a knife, put the parsley on top and chop it all together, to mix well.

7.  Cook the cuttlefish in 2 batches. Preheat a dry griddle pan or a heavy frying pan until hot and smoking (otherwise the fish will just boil in its own juices). Sprinkle the cuttlefish with the garlic and parsley mixture, put it into the pan and cook for about 30 seconds on one side, then 30 seconds on the other. As with squid, be very careful not to overcook it, or it will become tough.

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