Monday, February 22, 2010

Making Squid Sing: An Easy Intro


Squid is a creature I like to order in restaurants, but have never cooked, so this recipe from contributor Jim Dixon of RealGoodFood looked like an easy one to start with. Like Ivy Manning's recipe below, it also uses lacinato kale, one of my favorite greens of all time, and pretty much guarantees I'll like it!

Cleaned squid is fairly cheap (about $5 per pound at New Seasons), but most people can only imagine it deep fried. I like it that way, too, but at home I prefer a longer, slower braising technique. A classic dish from the Tuscan coast around Livorno, inzimino usually includes a quick cooking green like chard, but I think the heartier flavor of cavalo nero (aka lacinato kale) makes it better. This dish doesn’t look like much when it’s done, but it tastes great.

Calamari all’Inzimino

For one bunch of cavalo nero, use about a pound of cleaned squid, an even mix of tubes and tentacles. Leave the tentacles intact, but slice the tubes into rings about a half inch wide.

Chop half an onion, a few garlic cloves and a couple of celery stalks. Cook for a few minutes with a pinch of sea salt in olive oil, then add a bunch of cavalo nero that you cut in a chiffonade (trim the bottom inch off the bundle of leaves, stack 5 or 6 together, roll lengthwise into a tight cylinder, and slice thinly, about a quarter inch; repeat). Add a healthy glug of red wine (roughly a cup), the squid and about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste thinned with a half cup or so of water. [Several recipes I looked at also throw in a cup or so of chickpeas. - KAB]

A nice pinch of red pepper flakes is optional, but really good. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes. Serve over toasted bread with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. [Polenta (top photo) is also a great accompaniment! - KAB]

4 comments:

Oriana said...

wow in zimino is a very interesting method that apparently comes from the arab samin...I love the picture you used! oriana of tuscanycious.com

kab said...

Thanks, Oriana! Any food historians out there know if the two are related? I love this kind of stuff…

dds said...

Yum. YUM! You're unstoppable!

Love chickpeas, but don't you think they'd mess with the texture? Actually, w/o a side-dish, squid, kale and ceci would make a complete and delicious one-pot meal. Nevermind :)

Your posts and food tweets always have me groaning with envy.

kab said...

You are too sweet! I think the chickpeas would be good with bread alongside, not so much with the polenta. Just mho.

Thanks!