As a first-class cook, I am going to stick my neck out and say something I am sure to get chopped for, “The uneducated palate eats everything fried”! Squid, for example nine times out of ten, people eat it fried. Why? Because options are rarely available.
This recipe is sure to change the way you think of squid. The filling alone, is rich in flavors, and NO… it doesn’t need cheese to excite you. The tender, delicate flavor of squid is very accommodating to share flavors with. The primary trick to squid is that it cooks in under five minutes, even when stuffed. Grilling these lovely little squid bundles are the Piece de Resistance. The only effort, you will need a little patience for, is getting the filling inside the tubes, (likened to feeding a four month old it’s first bites of mashed bananas). The rest is fast and easy.
- Prepare the filling while squid marinates
- Stuff the squid
- Grill the squid (2 minutes on each side!)
- Squid – 1 pound per 2 people (tubes and tentacles)
- Olive Oil – enough to marinate squid and to cook filling
- Eggplant – about 1 cup, peeled, confetti cut, de-bittered (toss eggplant in a little salt, let sit 30 minutes, rinse and drain)
- Tomato – ½ cup, confetti cut
- Spinach – 1 pound fresh, chopped fine
- Lemon juice – ½ cup for filling and ½ cup for marinade
- Garlic – 1 clove for filling, 1 clove for marinade
- Salt – 1 teaspoon for filling, 1 teaspoon for marinade
- Pepper – ¼ teaspoon hot pepper (cayenne or ghost)
- Allspice – 1 teaspoon
- Black Cumin – 1 teaspoon
- Marjoram – 1 teaspoon
Marinate squid tubes in designated (above) olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic.
Saute filling ingredients until eggplant is soft. Cool.
With a tiny demitasse size spoon, fill each tube, squeezing down the filling to the end of the tube. Place a toothpick at the top of each filled tube. Refrigerate until ready to grill.
*A note to make grilling easier: It is worth purchasing a fish rack, designed to cook on top of the grill. If you do not have one, you can lay squid on heavy foil and puncture some holes in the foil so as to let the heat, smoke, and flavor come through.
TWO MINUTES, on each side, on a very hot grill! Longer than that, and the squid quickly becomes overdone and rubbery.
Soon to become your favorite squid dish!