Spanish-Styled Squid Risotto with Herb Oil

This dish embodies Spanish flavours with saffron and chorizo sausage complemented by hints of sumac, coriander and cumin. It’s a rustic and hearty risotto made with an  aubergine puree, grilled Patagonica squid and specs of sweet yellow pepper which is  served with a fresh herb oil – the perfect comfort food!


Serves 3


Difficulty: A little effort

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes



1 (200g) large aubergine

15ml (1 tbsp) sunflower oil

5ml (1 tsp) cumin seeds

5ml (1 tsp) coriander seeds

15ml (1 tbsp) garlic, finely chopped

15ml (1 tbsp) thyme

30ml (2 tbsp) squid wings

5ml (1 tsp) lemon juice

salt and pepper



45ml (3 tbsp) basil pesto

15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil

5ml (1 tsp) lemon juice

salt and pepper



15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil

180ml (¾ cup) onions, finely chopped

180ml (¾ cup / 120g) Arborio rice

5ml (1 tsp) garlic, finely chopped

30ml (2 tbsp) dry white wine

500ml (2 cups) fish stock

2.5ml (½ tsp) saffron

3.75ml (¾ tsp) sumac

60ml (¼ cup) salted butter

30ml (2 tbsp) Parmesan cheese, finely grated

5ml (1 tsp) salt



150g Pescanova Patagonica squid, cleaned

pinch salt

2.5ml (½ tsp) lemon juice

125ml (½ cup) Chorizo, sliced and grilled

125ml (½ cup) yellow pepper, grilled and cubed

15ml (1 tbsp) red chili, grilled and finely chopped

handful basil



  1. For the aubergine puree, pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Prick the aubergine and roast, 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the cumin and coriander, 1 minute. Add the garlic and thyme and sauté, 1 minute. Add the squid wings and sauté, 2 minutes. Scoop out the aubergine flesh and add it to the saucepan. Add the lemon juice and blend until smooth. Pass through a sieve, if preferred. Set aside.
  3. For the herb oil, whisk the ingredients together, season to taste and set aside until needed.
  4. For the risotto, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onions until tender, 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and sauté, 1 minute. Add the garlic and sauté, 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir until fully absorbed, 2 minutes. Add the fish stock, one ladleful at a time. Stir after each ladleful until all of the stock has been absorbed before adding the next ladle of stock. Add the saffron and sumac half way through the cooking process. Continue until all of the stock has been absorbed. Add 125ml (½ cup) of the aubergine puree. Whisk in the butter, Parmesan and salt.
  5. To serve, heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Cut each squid into rings. Grill each piece of squid until charred, 15 seconds per side. Season with the salt and drizzle with the lemon juice. Slice into rings.
  6. Spoon the risotto into serving dishes and top with the herb oil, grilled squid, chorizo, yellow pepper and red chili. Scatter some basil leaves on top.


TIP: For a cheat’s version if time is of the essence, the aubergine puree can easily be replaced with a tub of readymade baba ghanoush found at delis and selected supermarkets.


Wine pairing: Sauvignon Blanc, Paarl region



Recipe by: Kelly Mitchell

Image by: Liebe de Klerk

Wine pairing by: Chene Reader