Pan-fried squid hoods with rocket pesto – John Susman


Ingredients – Serves 4

2 Red capsicums roasted whole until blistered, skin removed
2 Tablespoons ghee
8 Pieces of South Australian Squid about 2×6inches, scored in a crisscross pattern
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Lemon oil, to serve

Rocket Pesto
80g rocket, leaves only
60mL Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly Ground Pepper


To make the rocket pesto, put the rocket leaves in a small, deep bowl with the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Puree with a hand-held blender until smooth and set aside.

Cut each roasted capsicum into four pieces, discarding the seeds. Heat a small frying pan over high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the capsicum. Blacken each piece well on one side, then remove from heat and set aside.

Heat a large heavy-based frying pan over high heat and add the ghee. When the ghee is translucent, add the squid and fry for 1-2 minutes, until the squid pieces curl and turn opaque. Remove the pan from the heat.

Transfer the squid to small serving plates or a serving board. Add the blackened capsicum with the pesto on the side. Finish with salt and pepper and a good splash of lemon oil.

NOTE: To successfully roast the capsicum, ensure the oven is super-hot (at least 200-250 degrees). Alternatively try roasting over a naked gas flame until the skin blisters and chars.

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