Squid with Lentils and Preserved Lemon

Squid with Lentils and Preserved Lemon

A Squid (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) is a very sensitive magnetometer used to measure extremely small magnetic fields and is based on a superconducting loop containing Josephson junctions. Less well known, it is also a tasty fishy treat which it turns out, goes very well with lentils.

“If animal trapped call 410-844-6286” — Baltimore, traditional.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Skill level: easy
Recipe source: Yotam Ottolenghi


  • cleaned squid tubes, butterflied and cut into 5cm-square pieces – 600g
  • 6 large red peppers
  • puy lentils – washed and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes – 210g
  • finely chopped preserved lemon – 3 tbsp
  • olive oil – 3 tbsp
  • harissa paste – 3 tsp
  • roughly chopped parsley – 4 tbsp
  • coriander seeds, toasted and crushed with a pestle and mortar – 2 tsp
  • Coarse sea salt

Cut the peppers in half and de-seed. Put under a hot grill and leave to blister and blacken – about 20 minutes. Place in a plastic bag to sweat for a while. Peel off the skins when cool enough to handle. Cut roughly into slices and put in a bowl to capture the juices.

Meanwhile, drain the lentils from their soaking water, place in a saucepan, cover with plenty of cold water and bring to a simmer. Cook until soft and tender, 20 – 25 minutes.

Drain the lentil and return to the saucepan. Add the pepper slices (and juice ), preserved lemon, half the oil, a third of the harissa, the parsley and the coriander. Toss gently over medium heat, just to warm up. Taste and season generously with salt.

Toss the squid in half the olive oil, the remaining harissa and a bit of salt. Cook quickly on a hot griddle.

To serve, pile up the lentil mix, alternating with the squid pieces. Finish off with a trickle of oil and some more chopped parsley.

Verdict: Very good indeed. Or as Gregg Wallace might say: “Phwarrrr! You’ve got your lovely tender squid … then the slight bite if the earthy lentils … going into the delightful sweetness of the pepper … finishing with that salty tang of preserved lemon … I’d eat a whole plateful … what’s for puds?”

Drink: A couple interesting pints at the cosy Carpenters Arms and a bottle of Cava back home.

Entertainment: The final episode of Season 4 of The Wire. A sad day in Yumblog Towers.


  1. Yummy! I haven’t had squid with lentils before so I’m roaring to give this a try. Thanks!

  2. ok so I know this is very late, but that does look so good, can I also ask where you get your squid from? I am in the UK too and i’ve tried all the supermarkets and all I can find are breaded calamari!

  3. Hi Nicola

    The only supermarket I know which sells squid is Waitrose (fish counter). They usually have it in stock although occasionally I have been disappointed.

    All the best


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