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Grilled Squid, Cucumber & Samphire

Serves 6

A great one for the barbecue on a hot early summers afternoon.

Allow about 100g Squid per person as a starter
1 Cucumber
1 Bulb Fennel
200g Samphire, cleaned and woody stems removed
100g Pea shoots
1 tsp capers
Juice of one lemon
100ml extra virgin olive oil.
Salt and Pepper

First prepare the squid. If whole, gut and clean then score in a criss cross pattern with your knife at an angle. If you are preparing in advance it is a nice idea to make a marinade with a few fennel seeds, lemon zest and a splash of olive oil.

For the dressing, simply pour the olive oil into the lemon juice whilst whisking. Taste for balance as oil and lemons vary.

For the salad peel the cucumber into stripes, then split lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a dessert spoon. Next slice the cucumber on a long angle and place in a bowl with a light sprinkle of salt, leave for at least ten minutes or so to draw out a bit of the excess water.

Finely slice the fennel, a mandolin is good for this but watch those fingers.
The Samphire needs picking over. If you pinch from the bottom you can feel if there is any woody core at the base of the stem, remove the woodiest part. Rinse thoroughly and blanch briefly in boiling water, drain and leave to cool slightly.

To assemble, first tumble the salad vegetables in the dressing along with the capers. Now grill the squid on a hot barbecue or if the weather is sad sear on a hot griddle. Cook in smallish batches, when cooking squid you want to cook it fairly briefly and are looking for the moment when the translucence of the squid starts to solidify. Lift off the barbecue into a bowl, then chop once or twice and toss through the salad along with the pea shoots.
Serve straight away.

Courtesy of Chris Gillard

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