Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
2 squid (about 350g/12oz total prepared weight – see method)
4 tblsp olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
salt and freshly ground
2 tblsp capers, rinsed
4 handfuls of rocket leaves
2 tomatoes, cut into 1cm (½") dice, or 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
squeeze of lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve
If your fishmonger hasn’t already cleaned the squid, rinse each one in water and, holding the body in one hand and the tentacles in the other, carefully pull the tentacles and gut away from the body in one piece. Remove the wings, retaining these, then feel inside the body for the hard quill and pull this out and discard.
Using a sharp knife, make a cut down one side of the body and open out flat. Scrape away any traces of gut with your knife, then lightly score the flesh in a crisscross pattern. Do the same to the wings, then cut both these and the body into pieces roughly 3cm (1¼in) square. Cut the tentacles away from the gut, discarding this, and slice these in half.
In a bowl, mix together half the olive oil with the paprika and season with salt and pepper. Add the prepared squid pieces and mix well.
Place a griddle or large frying pan on a high heat and allow to get hot. Transfer the squid from the bowl to the hot pan and cook for 2–4 minutes on each side or until slightly browned (and lightly charred if using a griddle pan). Add the capers to the pan for the last 30 seconds of cooking.
As the squid cooks, place the rocket leaves in another bowl with the tomatoes, lemon juice and remaining olive oil, and toss together, seasoning with salt and pepper. Divide the salad between plates, place the cooked squid on top, along with the capers, add the lemon wedges and serve immediately.