cuttlefishThe cuttlefish are arriving all along the South coast in huge numbers where they are caught in cuttletraps.  Pete has been landing large quantities of these tasty moluscs and you should definitely give cuttlefish a try if you haven’t had it before. It is similar to squid and should be cooked in the same way, either very quickly over high heat, or slow and low until meltingly tender (see below for both types of recipe). The majority of cuttlefish are sold to the continent where it is regarded as a seasonal delicacy in Italy, Spain and Croatia in particular, with the ink used in pasta.

We are selling whole cuttlefish for £7.50 each – and if you ask nicely, Chantelle will prepare and clean them for you. A good sized cuttlefish should feed 4 people.

Cuttlefish is great on the BBQ and this is great with Polenta.

  • 1 prepped cuttlefish, cut into strips.
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 75ml Olive oil
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 250g Polenta
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • 30g butter
  • fresh parsley

Mix the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt together in a shallow pan and add the cuttlefish.  Leave to marinate for one hour while the BBQ gets up to heat (or put grill on highest setting). Cook the palenta in boiling water as per packet instructions for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the Parmesan, butter and parsley. Grill the cuttlefish on either side for 3-4 minutes and serve immediately with the polenta.

Cuttlefish in Red Wine

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon, broken in to two
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 kg prepared cuttlefish, cut into 1cm strips
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cuttlefish or squid ink, optional
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped, to serve
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • cooked bulgar wheat or rice, to serve

Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas mark 3 or you can use the hob if you prefer. Heat the oil in a heavy based, flameproof casserole dish that has a lid, then add the onions, peppercorns, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon stick and cook gently for about 10 minutes until the onions have softened. Then add the garlic and cook gently for a further 5 minutes.

Add the cuttlefish pieces to the pan and cook for about 5 more minutes until the flesh has turned opaque. Then add the red wine, vinegar and the cuttlefish ink, if using. Bring to simmering point, season with some salt, cover the dish with the lid and pop it in the oven or on a low heat on the hob for 1 hour until the cuttlefish is tender.

Season with a few pinches of salt, squeeze in the lemon juice, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges on some plain bulgur wheat or rice.