Cuttlefish with Spinach
When you get a call from your your brother saying:”im in the fishmonger….what do you want me to buy?” Well, you don’t know exactly what to answer….so the most natural answer that came to my mind was….”whatever you want”….and so he did.. A cuttlefish was what he decided to take amongst some others.
So the first thing that came to my mind was to find a nice recipe that it is used in Greece for that and i had already one in mind. Most of the times when i was reading about cuttlefish, everyone was talking about cooking it with spinach and indeed it looked in the pictures really good.
So why not try it?
What i didn’t took into consideration was the amount of time it needed for the cuttlefish to be cleaned. Honestly as you can see in the picture it was a blood both or…an inkbath. I have to say that at some point i couldn’t really understand what i was cutting due to the enormous amount of ink…. Thankfully i made sure i didn’t cut any fingers. There is one teeth that you need to make sure you remove from the cuttlefish which is exactly in the middle, and a big bone on the back…and you are ready to cook it!
The following recipe is a classic during the great lent that happens before the orthodox easter. As it is full in vitamins and protein, cuttlefish with spinach is a great alternative for meat. The question that everyone has though, is why we dont cook it more often as it is really easy to make and it shouldn’t give you any trouble. In this case i had to clean the cuttlefish but if you have your fishmonger do the job for you then the rest (as you will see) is easy!
Ingredients for cuttlefish with spinach
- 1 cuttlefish , chopped and cleaned
- Around 1 kilo of spinach cut in really thin slices
- A small bunch of dill chopped
- 3-4 small mint leaves chopped
- 1 t/s of tomato paste
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 glass of ouzo or white wine
Ideally you should have cleaned the cuttlefish from the ink and removed all the bones from the fish. Some people throw the ink, some others use it to cook the fish together with the ink. Its up to you. When i asked my about it he had the following thing to say.
Only the cuttlefish throws away its ink to escape from the predators. We eat it!Captain Jacob (My father)
Here is the trick though that i learned recently. Take it a deep pot and put in high heat for 3-4 minutes and let it burn without anything other than some salt. Afterwards, throw in the cuttlefish and stir it for couple of minutes.
Add then, the two garlic cloves as well as the onions. Stir and then add, the dill, and then pour the glass with ouzo. Let the ouzo evaporate for 1-2 minutes.
Now, add the tomato paste, salt and pepper and finally the spinach. You need to be careful, as the spinach, will remove a lot of liquids. We need to add around 200gr of water and let it boil for 20-30 minutes. Its better though to add the water slowly and observe as you dont want to make it a soup.
When its almost ready, add the zest from one lemon,and then juice from the lemon and its ready to serve!