Seared squid with white beans and fennel
- April 2015
- 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 1 onion, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, halved lengthways and thinly sliced crossways
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
- 100ml dry white wine
- 250g soaked, cooked dried white beans, such as cannellini (or 2 x 400g tins beans, drained)
- 100g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 500g squid tubes (cleaned weight – ask your fishmonger to prep it)
- Lemon wedges for squeezing
For the parsley oil
- 3 tbsp very finely chopped freshflatleaf parsley
- 75ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Whisk together the ingredients for the parsley oil in a small bowl with a fork or balloon whisk, whisking in a little water to loosen the mixture. Taste, season, then set aside.
- In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil, then fry the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sliced fennel and fennel seeds, then cook gently for another 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the wine and cook for another few minutes until about half the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the cooked/tinned beans to the pan and mix in the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer while you cook the squid.
- Cut open one side of a squid tube, then lay it flat, skin-side up, on a board. Pat dry with kitchen paper, then pull off the thin membrane from the skin. Using a sharp knife, score a lattice pattern on the surface, taking care not to cut right through, then cut the squid into 3.5cm square pieces. Repeat with the rest of the squid tubes. Toss thepieces in a bowl with the remaining oil and salt and pepper until coated.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When it’s really hot brush the pan with oil. Sear the squid for 1 minute on each side until lightly browned, then remove from the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan: it’s better to sear in 2 batches or the squid will stew.
- Place a quarter of the bean mixture onto each plate and a portion of squid on top. Drizzle over some of the parsley oil and squeeze over a little lemon juice to serve.
A recipe from Out of the Pod by Vicky Jones (£14.89; Ryland Peters & Small).
Make the parsley oil up to 1 week in advance and keep in a sealed container in the fridge. Make the fennel and bean mixture the night before, keep covered in the fridge and heat thoroughly to serve.
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