Seared baby squid with radishes, nasturtiums & aïoli by Peter Gilmore

Peter Gilmore’s dishes are often colourful with tiny edible flowers and unusual leaves.

Nasturtiums grow like weeds in most gardens, and their leaves have a lovely peppery flavour, so it’s worth planting some to colour and spice up your salads.

Ingredients:

12 baby red radishes, washed, trimmed and halved
24 baby French breakfast radishes, washed, trimmed
2 cured chorizo, peeled, halved and cut into 5mm-thick slices
75ml extra virgin olive oil
1kg small loligo squid, cleaned but not skinned and tentacles reserved
Salt flakes, to taste
Aïoli (see below), for serving
24 nasturtium flowers
24 radish flowers
6 nasturtium flowers, petals separated

Aioli
6 plump cloves garlic, halved and green germ removed from the centre
½ tablespoon salt flakes
3 large egg yolks
300ml extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Boil the radishes in salted water for 1 minute, then refresh in iced water. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat a non-stick frying pan and fry the chorizo until lightly coloured. Remove from the pan and set it aside, covered, to keep warm. Wipe out the frying pan and reheat.

3. Drizzle 50ml of the olive oil over the squid and sprinkle generously with salt. Sear the squid including tentacles in the pan, in batches, for 20 seconds on each side. Remove them from the pan and set them aside, covered, to keep warm.

4. Spread a strip of aïoli onto each plate, and arrange the squid and chorizo around the plate.

5. Toss the radishes and nasturtium leaves with the remaining oil and sprinkle with salt. Scatter them onto the plates and garnish with the radish flowers and nasturtium petals. Add a couple of dots of aioli. Serve immediately.

6. For the aioli, place the garlic and salt in a mortar and pound with a pestle. Add the egg yolks and mix to combine. Slowly add the oil, drop by drop at first, mixing continuously to form an emulsion.

Recipe and image courtesy of Sydney Seafood School.

Tips:

  • Many greengrocers sell edible flowers; use whatever is available.
  • The smaller the squid for this recipe, the better.
  • Alternative species: cuttlefish; saucer scallop.