If you want a delicious, very high protein dish which requires very little preparation then this recipe is for you! The original recipe comes from Claudia Roden from her wonderful book Mediterranean Cookery; all credit for this recipe goes to Claudia, I’ve just made a few alterations, nothing more.
Now some of you may be thinking “the last time I had squid it was tough, rubbery and tasteless” sadly this is all too true, however there are two things you can do to prevent this. Firstly for the best results you should freeze the squid and then defrost slowly over a day; this freezing and defrosting process will help to tenderise the squid. When I buy squid it is generally frozen so I just keep it in the freezer until I’m ready to use it.
Secondly, problems with tenderness occur because squid needs to be cooked for either a very short or a very long time; this recipe calls for a very long time as it guarantees the squid is tasty and tender, plus it also means you can just leave it cooking on the stove while you do other things. Squid is also very high in protein, this recipe contains just over 78g of protein, in fact it is a very cheap source of protein when compared to other meat, fish and seafood.
The beauty about this recipe is if you want to bulk it out and make the squid go further you can just add more tomatoes to the dish and it will stretch. It can be served on it’s own but goes great with cauliflower rice and vegetables such as samphire or green beans.
Mediterranean Squid & Tomato Casserole
Preparation to Plate: 2-3 hours
Consume within 2 days
4 Cans of Tomatoes
2 Large White Onions, chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, crushed or grated
2 Bay Leaves
1-2tbsp Dried Thyme
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Ensure that the squid is fully defrosted, remove from the packet and strain any liquid off in a sieve. Wash with cold water to ensure all the defrosted liquid is washed off. Put in a bowl and set aside for now.
In a large, heavy bottomed pan heat the olive oil and cook the onions with a little black pepper over a medium-high heat until they start to turn translucent. Once they have gotten to that stage add the garlic. Once an aroma develops add the squid rings to the pan.
Once the squid starts to curl at the edges of the rings, after a couple of minutes or so, then add the tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme. Turn the heat down to a medium-low and allow the casserole to simmer for at least 1½ hours. If the pan is a non-stick you rarely need to keep string it, when I did it the tomatoes didn’t burn despite being left for ages without stirring.
The longer you leave it the better it will taste. The sauce should be a thick consistency, if you compare the two pictures you can see how much the casserole reduces over the heat.
Check the squid rings to ensure they are tender to eat, if so, plate and serve. If you want to freeze it then allow it to cool and then place in containers and freeze.