Friday, 15 July 2011


Seppie alla Griglia con Ragù di Verdure in Agrodolce
Grilled Cuttlefish with Sweet & Sour Vegetable Ragu

We have a tradition of sweet and sour dishes in Sicily all of our own. They have little in common with the sweet, pineapple flavored sauces we know so well from Chinese take-away's. I wanted to try making my own version and to add a bit of tangy spice to a simple grilled cuttlefish recipe. The addition of sweet nectarine and aromatic sage made for a distinctive and delicious new flavor combination... take a look and see what you think...

I prepared the cuttlefish by thawing it out, putting it into a small bowl, covering it with boiling water and letting it "cook" for 4-5 minutes. I have tried this method before and find it to be the best way to get the cuttlefish to be tender and nice and to not turn to rubber on me! I drained, patted dry and grilled the cuttlefish in a very hot grill pan, with some olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, a light dusting of chili flakes and a few slices of garlic. Keep the heat really high, as the cuttlefish does not really require much more cooking after having sat in boiling water for 5 minutes and we just want it to go crisp and brown on the outside. Once the fish is brown, set it to one side and start working on the vegetables. This is going to be a simple affair of zucchini, carrot, spring onion, tomatoes and the aforementioned nectarines... yummy!

Start off with the carrots, as they are the firmest of the vegetables. Pop them into your frying pan with a little water and let them boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain the water off, add a little olive oil and the zucchini slices. Sprinkle with salt, sugar, a little nutmeg, a hint of cinnamon, some grated ginger and the grated zest and juice of a lemon. Sprinkle with oregano, add the nectarine chunks and some freshly ground chili flakes, add the tomatoes and turn off the heat. You didn't want to have to do more work than that now did you?

Toss gently together and serve with a few leaves of sage, a light drizzle of honey and lemon juice on the crispy cuttlefish... and a nice chilled glass of white or rosé and enjoy! Light, tasty, tangy Summer flavors in less than half an hour! Now that's my kind of meal!

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