Clementine-marinated squid

The gentle sweetness of clementine juice, mixed with charred red chillies, makes for an explosive marinade in Maria Elia's quick starter
By Maria Elia
Clementine-marinated squid
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 30 minutes marinating
  • Effort: easy


For the squid

  • 4 red chilli
  • 4 clementines, finely grated zest of 2, juice of 4
  • 75 ml olive oil, plus 4 tbsp
  • 8 squid tubes
  • dash chardonnay vinegar
  • 1 small handful micro coriander

For the cauliflower

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 pint milk
  • 25 g butter
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil


1. For the marinated squid: pierce the chillies with the point of a knife and cook on a very hot griddle pan, turning occasionally, until the skins are blackened. Remove from the pan and set aside until cool enough to handle.

2. Peel away and discard the blackened skins, then cut each chilli in half lengthways and scrape away the seeds. Finely chop the flesh and separate into two equal portions.

3. Mix half of the chopped chilli with the zest of two of the clementines and four tablespoons of the olive oil until well combined. Set aside.

4. Prepare the squid by removing the wings and outer skin of the squid. Using a sharp knife, slice down one side of each squid to open it up. Scrape out and discard any guts and cartilage. Lightly score the inside of the squid tube in a criss-cross pattern.

5. Place squid tubes into the marinade, mix well to coat and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, heat the clementine juice in a small, non-reactive saucepan until the volume of the juice has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining chopped chillies, the remaining olive oil and the chardonnay vinegar. Season with a pinch of salt. Set aside until needed.

7. For the cauliflower: cut the cauliflower into florets and set aside half. Cut the remaining florets into smaller, even-sized pieces.

8. Place the smaller florets into a saucepan with the milk and add a pinch of sea salt. Cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Drain the cauliflower, reserving the milk. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and blend with the butter until smooth, adding a splash of the reserved milk if the mixture is too dry. Set aside.

9. Thinly slice the reserved cauliflower using a mandoline or very sharp knife. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the slices for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until tender and golden-brown all over. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside to cool.

10. Remove the squid from the marinade and season with sea salt. Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot, then add the squid, scored side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until just cooked.

11. To serve, spoon the cauliflower purée onto plates and place the squid on top. Drizzle over the clementine and chilli oil and scatter over the fried cauliflower. Garnish with the micro coriander.

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