This Mediterranean feta stuffed squid, served with pea and fennel purée, homemade black olive pesto, lemon juice marinated roasted tomatoes, capers and crunchy giant couscous is a delight, and it’s really not complicated to prepare it!
‘Your boyfriend is a lucky guy…’
…is what I am being told as soon as I start talking about what I cook and the fact that I am too stubborn to cook the same thing twice. I have no doubt that my boyfriend is a lucky guy when it comes to tasting my dishes, but getting to do that every day also means that he gets to taste my failures. However, this dish was far from being a failure. As a matter of fact Max told me that he thought it was the best dish I have ever made (…well, until now).
Mediterranean flavours are always a win…
…is what I always believe. Think olive oil, good olives, basil, lemon juice and tomatoes. My mouth is watering just as I am listing these beautiful ingredients. Italian is often undisputed for being among the best cuisines in the world. I also think Greek food should get even more attention than it does. For me there are no better olives in the whole wide world other than Kalamata. And perhaps no better freshness of flavour than a good quality Italian pesto full of parmigiano.[twocol_one][/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]
Home chef it is!
For a long time I’ve been trying to find that route that I wish to take my cooking into. If my first year of blogging has been about experimenting and learning different cuisines, different dishes and some techniques, I wish to now take a step further. I would love to learn how to plate like a pro, like to build dishes like a pro, and use my graphic designer’s and flavour combination (from imaginary tastebuds) skills to improve as a cook. I consider the concept of home-cook to be overrated. In an era when we care so much about beautiful plates, where everybody’s watching shows like Chef’s Table and Masterchef, I think there should be a new level of home cooking. I would like to, someday, become a home chef. This recipe is how I started my self taught experience.
- 2 large squids
- 200g feta, crumbled
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds, ground
- 1 tsp dry sage
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp dry thyme
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 8 plum or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- black pepper
- 1 fennel
- 25g butter
- 1 cup of peas
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 6-7 basil leaves
- 1 tbsp black olives (I use Kalamata)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp parmesan
- 1/2 tsp pine nuts, toasted
- a couple of capers
- 1/4 cup of giant couscous
- Start by preparing the roasted tomatoes. Lay them on baking paper on an oven tray and bake for 10 minutes at 200ºC.
- In the meantime prepare the squid. Clean them well and dry them using some kitchen towel.
- In a bowl mix the feta with all the herbs, then stuff the squids.
- Once the tomatoes are done, let them cool, then remove the skins and place them in a small bowl covered in the oil and lemon juice and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
- Turn the oven heat down to 160ºC.
- Place the squids on baking paper in an oven tray (together with the tentacles). Cover and bake for 40 minutes.
- Caramelise the fennel in the butter until soft and boil the peas until cooked. Add them to a blender or food processor together with the milk and blitz until you obtain a smooth purée.
- Cook the giant couscous by simmering it in 1/2 a cup of boiling water and some salt
- For the black olive pesto, simply grind all the ingredients using a mortar and pestle, until you obtain a nice (intensly) dark green paste.
- In the last 10 minutes before the squid is cooked, lay the giant couscous on baking paper on a tray and bake. The giant couscous should become crunchy and slightly golden.
- Plate and enjoy!