Olive Magazine
A grilled squid on a white plate with sliced fennel and a black sauce

Grilled squid and pickled fennel

Published: July 27, 2022 at 10:35 am
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • A little effort
  • Serves 4

Try this stylish squid dish from Spanish restaurant Parrillan Borough Yards in London. It's served with a squid ink sauce featuring chilli, ginger, shallots and brandy – so is sure to make an impression at dinner

Nutrition: Per serving

Try this recipe for grilled squid and pickled fennel, from London's Parrillan Borough Yards. Also check out our recipes for Spanish rice-stuffed squid, Spanish mackerel and Spanish-style hake, plus discover more Spanish-style recipes and squid recipes.

This recipe calls for dried Ñora peppers. These are small, round, dark red peppers with a mild, fruity flavour that are often ground to paprika.


  • 1 fennel bulb,
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50ml white wine vinegar or cava vinegar
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 tarragon leaves
  • 4 whole fresh squid, cleaned on the inside but keeping the wings and skin on, lightly scored into a concertina


  • 35ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • small piece of ginger
  • 1 dry Ñora pepper
  • 1 dry Spanish chilli
  • 1 red pepper, finely sliced
  • 4 long shallots, finely sliced
  • 50g tomato frito or puréed tomato
  • 15g squid ink
  • 75ml brandy
  • 250ml fish stock


  • STEP 1

    To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pan over a low heat and cook the garlic, bay, ginger, Ñora and dry chilli until coloured. Add the pepper and shallots, and cook for 15 mins until they caramelise. Add the tomato frito, and cook gently for another 5 mins until caramelised. Add the squid ink, cook for 30 seconds, then deglaze the pan on a low heat by adding the brandy. Flambé to burn off the alcohol by lighting the side of the pan – have a pan lid handy just in case you need to cover the flames, and don’t do this under an extractor fan. Add the stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the ginger and bay, blend the mixture and adjust the seasoning to taste. This will keep for a few days in the fridge or can be frozen.

  • STEP 2

    Marinate the fennel in a bowl with the olive oil, vinegar, red onion, tarragon and seasoning. Meanwhile, grill the squid or cook over coals on a barbecue for 2 mins on each side until it is cooked through and browned at the edges. Serve the squid beside the fennel salad with a drizzle of the squid ink sauce.

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