Chilli / Lunch / Quinoa / Savoury / Seafood / Wholegrains

Calamari with Herb and Chilli-spiked Quinoa Stuffing

A feast for the eyes as well as the tummy, my Calamari with a Herb and Chilli-spiked Quinoa Stuffing is the perfect dish, only made better by endless blue skies, the laughter of friends and family, and a rumbling stomach. Cook at home or on a BBQ in the sunshine – which ever it is you’re in for a treat.


For the quinoa:


2 cloves garlic

1 small piece pancetta

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

¼ cup quinoa, rinsed and dried

¾ cup water

Extra virgin olive oil

For the squid:


1 fresh red chilli, sliced thinly – dried chilli may be substituted

The ½ cup cooked quinoa

½ head fresh lettuce, chopped roughly

2 tbsp parsley, chopped roughly

4 lemon segments, small dice

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

Extra virgin olive oil

4 large squid hoods – cleaned

In a pan, heat some oil and cook the pancetta until lightly golden. Add the garlic cloves and thyme leaves and continue to cook for another minute or so. Add the dry quinoa and toast lightly. Next pour in water and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce heat. Simmer for approx. 20 minutes until the quinoa has sucked up all the liquid – it is important not to overcook the quinoa. Spread the cooked quinoa onto a tray and set aside to cool.

In a wide sauté pan, heat some oil and cook the chilli. Next, add the cooked – and cooled – quinoa and toast until slightly crunchy. Add the pine nuts until heated through and transfer mixture into a bowl. Add the parsley, lettuce, and lemon segments. Toss gently to combine and season to taste with olive oil, lemon juice and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Continue by stuffing the squid with the mix. Take a toothpick and seal the end closed.

Heat a heavy-based pan until very hot. Add a dash of olive oil and pop in the stuffed squid hoods. Making sure the pan stays scorching hot, cook the squid for 3-4 minutes, turning them every minute or so to give them a nice even golden colour. Remove from pan and set aside.

Serve the stuffed squid on a bed of fresh salad with sun-dried tomatoes, olives and a good final drizzle of olive oil and lemon.

Serves 4

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