[Paleo, Gluten Free, Pescatarian]
Squid are some of the oldest sea creatures that we have the pleasure of putting on our plates. They are cephalopods, millions of years old, and still thriving in our underwater ecosystems. They hold a special place in folklore with stories of great squid sinking ancient ships, and the truth behind giant squid is still not known to scientists . Today I will share a stuffed squid recipe that blends some Mediterranean flavors and fresh whole ingredients. Tomato, eggplant, and anchovies combine with basil, onions and fresh seasonings to bring a new twist on a often played out seafood item.
4-5 Medium squid
3 Cups of Diced Eggplant
1/2 Cup Diced Onion
3-5 Anchovies, chopped
3 Whole basil leaves
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Large Tomato of your choice (I used a fresh, local heirloom)
1/2 – 1 Tsp. Salt
Black Pepper to taste.
2 Cloves of Garlic, sliced thinly
Optional: 2 Chorizo Sausage Links
- Clean your squid. Cleaning your squid at home allows you to keep pieces of the squid that would normally be thrown out if it was a frozen pack, or if you had a fishmonger clean it for you.
** To read about cleaning your squid at home, reference my article: https://filettotable.com/2020/08/24/how-to-clean-your-squid-at-home/ **
- Make sure to save the meat from the wings of the squid, and the tentacles. We will use this as meat in the stuffing.
- After you clean your squid, dice 3 cups of eggplant into 1/2 inch pieces. Dice 1/2 cup of onions into slightly smaller pieces than your eggplant. Add your two cloves of garlic, sliced thin so they cook to almost translucent.
- Coat the bottom of your pan or cast iron with olive oil, and saute the eggplant and onion.
- After about 1-2 minutes of sauteing, add 1 Tsp. of Salt, add Black Pepper to taste.
- Next add your 1 large Heirloom (or other) tomato roughly chopped.
(By roughly chopped I mean the pieces don’t have to be perfect, tomato will cook down more than the other ingredients)
- Add 3-5 anchovies, based on salt preference, and mix the anchovies and taste after adding each. Anchovies are very strong and salty and the flavor can be overpowering unless monitored.
- If you want to add 2 Chorizo, now is the time. Add it to your sauteing tomato, onion, and eggplant. Chorizo will cook quickly, so add it towards the end of your preparation.
- The final item to add is the pieces of tentacles and the wings of the squid. Chop them up relatively small so you can fit them into the tube.
- When the squid turns an opaque white, they are ready!
- Leave the mixture of stuffing on the side and let cool.
To stuff your cleaned squid, try to fit a piping nozzle into the opening of the squid tube. This will keep the tube open, and it will be easier to spoon in the stuffing when the tube is opened and stays open. If you don’t have a spare cake piping nozzle, you can just hold the tubes open and spoon the stuffing into the squid. This will take a bit more time, but is worth it. Snip the end of the tube (the pointy end) to make stuffing the tube easier.
- After you have filled the tubes with the amount of stuffing for your liking, gently pinch the tube closed, and secure it with a toothpick.
- Cover the bottom of your pan with olive oil, and pan sear your stuffed tubes for roughly 30 seconds each side. You are looking for a nice opaque squid. Your squid should be nice and browned on each side. Add a pat of butter at the end of the cooking, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and a fresh squeeze of lemon!