Provençal Stuffed Squid

Provencal Stuffed Squid
Provençal Stuffed SquidJustin Walker

Fresh squid of every size, and cuttlefish too, are found at fishmongers throughout Provence. Lulu buys the tiny ones to fry, but chooses medium-size squid to stuff with herbs, chard, and bread crumbs (she prefers chard to spinach under most circumstances). To make things easier, the squid can be prepared in advance and cooked later in the day, roasted, grilled, or braised. Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with fruity oil or an anchovy vinaigrette.

Provençal Stuffed Squid
Squid is filled with herbs, chard, and bread crumbs in this Provence-style dish.
Yield: serves 4
Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. chard or spinach, chopped, about 6 cups
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
  • 14 cup homemade dried bread crumbs
  • 1 large onion, finely diced, about 1 1/2 cups
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped thyme
  • 12 tsp. chopped rosemary
  • 4 anchovy fillets in oil, well rinsed and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Cheyenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 12 lb. cleaned medium squid, about a dozen, tentacles and bodies separated
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Wild arugula leaves, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Blanch the chard in boiling salted water for 1 minute, then drain and cool under running water. Squeeze chard completely dry and finely chop. Set aside. In a small skillet, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, tossing occasionally, until browned and toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the bread crumbs cool.
  2. Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and lightly colored, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add parsley, thyme, rosemary, anchovies, garlic, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes more. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl. Add the cooked chard, the reserved bread crumbs, and lemon zest. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Rinse squid well with cold water and pat dry. Using a teaspoon, fill each squid body, taking care not to overstuff. Secure the open ends with a toothpick. Season stuffed squid on both sides generously with salt and pepper. Season tentacles separately with salt and pepper.
  5. Warm a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into the skillet, then add the squid bodies and cook, flipping once, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the tentacles around the bodies, then add the wine. Cover with a lid, and cook until the squid bodies and tentacles are tender but firm, about 1 minute. Uncover and continue cooking until the wine reduces slightly, about 1 minute more, and season with salt and pepper. (Note: Do not crowd the squid in the pan. If necessary, use 2 skillets or work in batches.)
  6. Transfer the squid bodies and tentacles to a large serving platter and spoon the sauce over the top. Scatter the arugula around the squid and serve with lemon wedges.