Warm salad of braised cuttlefish with ink vinaigrette

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Nathan Outlaw's impressive cuttlefish recipe gives you a reason to try this lovely seafood treat. If you like squid, you’ll love this cuttlefish recipe, using an underutilised product of the sea that’s well worth getting to know because, unlike its other relative octopus, the cuttlefish’s fleshy body is substantial. Here the thick, brilliant white meat is braised and the ink sack saved for use in a stunning black vinaigrette.

First published in 2015




Cuttlefish recipe


  • 2 shallots
  • 75ml of red wine vinegar
  • 150ml of extra virgin olive oil


To make this cuttlefish recipe, begin by chopping the onion and carrots, quarter the tomatoes and crush the garlic
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat, stir in the vegetables and fry gently, without colouring, for about 5 minutes or until softened
Pour in the wine. Increase the heat to high and boil until the wine has reduced to about a teaspoon of liquid, then pour in the fish stock. Bring to a simmer
  • 100ml of white wine
  • 500ml of fish stock
Clean the cuttlefish, leaving it whole, and set the cuttlefish ink aside
  • 1000g of whole cuttlefish
Once the pan is simmering, add the cuttlefish. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours, or until the cuttlefish is tender
Strain the contents of the pan through a sieve into a bowl and leave the collected cooking liquor and cuttlefish to cool
When the cuttlefish is cool enough to handle, slice across the body into 2cm-thick strips and set aside
To make the vinaigrette, finely chop the shallots and place in a bowl with the vinegar
Measure out 75ml of the reserved cooking liquor, add to the bowl and leave to stand for 30 minutes
Stir 1 tablespoon of the cuttlefish ink into the shallot mixture, then whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt
Pour about half the vinaigrette into a small saucepan and warm very gently over a low heat – do not let it boil. Add the sliced cuttlefish and heat through for 2-3 minutes
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil
Add the purple sprouting broccoli and simmer for 2 minutes, until just tender. Drain and place in a large bowl
Chop the tarragon and add to the broccoli with the capers
Gently stir in the warm vinaigrette and cuttlefish
Add lemon juice to taste and season with sea salt and black pepper
Spoon the cuttlefish recipe onto serving plates and serve with the remaining vinaigrette in a jug on the side

Nathan Outlaw cooks with understated brilliance and passionate respect for primary ingredients.

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