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Perfect match: squid with pomegranate and herb salad with Clare Valley riesling

You'll need

800 gm loligo squid (about 6), cleaned, tentacles reserved 1 cup each (loosely packed) mint and coriander leaves ¼ preserved lemon, flesh and pith removed, skin thinly sliced lengthways 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil To serve: lemon wedges 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds (about ½ small pomegranate)   Harissa mayonnaise 2 egg yolks 2 tsp harissa 1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only 200 ml olive oil


  • 01
  • For harissa mayonnaise, process egg yolks, harissa, lemon rind and 1 tbsp lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. With motor running, gradually add olive oil in a thin stream until combined. Add remaining lemon juice and season to taste. Makes about 250ml.
  • 02
  • Cut squid tubes lengthways with a sharp knife. Working with one squid at a time, open flat on a work surface and score inside at a 45 degree-angle in a crosshatch pattern, then cut into 4cm strips and set aside. Remove beak from squid tentacles (discard), and halve tentacles lengthways.
  • 03
  • Combine herbs and preserved lemon in a bowl. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over high heat, cook one-third of squid until just becoming opaque and starting to colour (1-2 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper and season to taste. Repeat with remaining oil and squid. Divide squid among plates, top with herb mixture, scatter with pomegranate seeds and serve with harissa mayonnaise and lemon wedges to the side.

No one who lived through it will ever forget the 15-day heatwave that struck Adelaide in March 2008. The local vignerons will certainly relive the memory for a long time to come: the heat resulted in overripe, tasteless grapes. Before the heatwave, however, most vineyards were ripening perfectly and quality was excellent. In some regions, such as the Clare Valley, much of the riesling crop had already been picked before the heat, and the best wines taste wonderful right now. The spanking-fresh flavours of young Clare Valley riesling are a great match for the clean freshness of squid; the grape usually has a herbal, fennel-like lift, which matches well with the herbs in this dish, as do the variety's trademark zestiness and the tart little pomegranate seeds. Riesling can handle a bit of heat, too, so the harissa mayonnaise lifts the overall flavour combination. - MAX ALLEN

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Dec 2008

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