“I love the fact that you can cook cuttlefish on a smoking grill but the flesh remains soft and yielding. I also love the simplicity of this dish and the contrasting textures, colours and flavours.” You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. Andrew Cibej, Vini, Surry Hills, NSW
- 8 cuttlefish, cleaned, tentacles and wings reserved
- 125 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing and drizzling (½ cup)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1½ long red chillies, seeds removed, thinly sliced
- 3 green zucchini, cut diagonally into wedges
- ¼ bunch thyme, leaves picked
- 100 gm black olives, such as Taggiasche, squashed, pitted
- 1 cup each flat-leaf parsley and mint (loosely packed)
- ½ preserved lemon, flesh only, thinly sliced
- 125 ml white wine vinegar (½ cup)
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 2-3 inner white celery stalks, thinly sliced, leaves reserved
- 1Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat. Open cuttlefish bodies, score inside in a cross-hatch pattern, cut into thirds, brush with a little olive oil, season to taste and grill until just opaque (30 seconds each side). Cool slightly, then combine in a non-reactive bowl with 100ml olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and one-third of the chilli. Refrigerate to marinate (4 hours-overnight).
- 2For pickled celery, combine vinegar, sugar and 125ml water in a saucepan, bring to the simmer, transfer to a non-reactive bowl and cool to room temperature. Add celery and set aside to pickle (15 minutes).
- 3Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Season zucchini to taste and toss in remaining olive oil. Place in a roasting pan, scatter with thyme and roast until golden and tender (20-25 minutes).
- 4Drain cuttlefish and celery (discard liquid), place on a large plate with olives, herbs, preserved lemon and zucchini. Sprinkle with celery leaves and remaining chilli, drizzle with a little olive oil, season to taste and serve.
This recipe is from the May 2011 issue of .