Smokey Griddled Squid with Stinging Nettle Oil

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I’m not going to lie. I love squid. I could eat it pretty much exclusively, all day every day. Along with sushi (oh my god I love sushi). If you love squid as much as me, you’ll know how disappointing a lot of squid dishes can be. Greasy, rubbery, chewy; there is nothing worse than badly cooked squid.

Why oh why do people insist on deep-frying squid all the time? It’s great and all, but sometimes all a nice piece of squid needs is a light clean marinade and a screaming hot griddle. It’s truly one of life’s finer treats. Squid needs a seriously hot griddle for just a minute or two. This keeps it lovely and tender, as it should be.


This zesty, smoky marinade is perfect for squid. Light enough so as not to overpower it, just enough to give it a bit of a kick. The slightly chargrilled tentacles of the squid add a lovely crunch to the dish. I only used tentacles, but using the tubes would be perfectly fine.


The nettle oil adds a light, earthy element to the dish. I used extra virgin olive oil so that it’s more like a dressing, with a richness from some parmesan. This is a perfect starter, served with a light salad, or as an addition to a main. I love having these with Wild Garlic Gnocchi, or pasta in a very light white wine sauce (though go easy on the smoked paprika if you’re going that way!).

Smokey Griddled Squid with Stinging Nettle Oil
Serves 2
Smokey, tender squid with an earthy nettle oil.
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Prep Time
8 hr
Cook Time
4 min
Total Time
8 hr 4 min
Prep Time
8 hr
Cook Time
4 min
Total Time
8 hr 4 min
For the Squid
  1. 6 small squid (I used only tentacles, but you can make rings from the tubes too)
  2. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  3. 1 tbsp sesame oil
  4. 1 clove of garlic, sliced.
  5. Sea Salt
  6. Pepper
  7. A good squeeze of lime juice
For the Stinging Nettle Oil
  1. A handful stinging nettle leaves, washed.
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  3. 2 tbsp parmesan (or hard vegetarian cheese)
  4. Sea Salt
  5. Pepper
  1. Marinade the squid for around 8 hours before griddling. Add the squid to a zip-lock bag. Add the oil, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper and lime juice. Shake to coat all the squid in the marinade.
  2. Prepare the oil by steaming the nettles for 2-3 minutes over boiling water. Transfer them to a food processor, and add 2 tbsp of the olive oil.
  3. Add the parmesan, and drizzle in the rest of the oil until you have a consistency similar to a very loose pesto. You may not require all the oil. If you think you've added too much, just quickly steam some more nettle leaves and add them in - easy peasy!
  4. Season the oil with a little salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Set a non-stick griddle on a high heat, and brush with a little vegetable oil. The griddle needs to be smoking hot.
  6. When your griddle is smoking slightly, place the squid on the griddle (using a tongs if you're nervous with spitting oil). The squid needs just 2 minutes on each side.
  7. Serve piping hot, drizzled with some of the nettle oil and a little extra lime juice.
Sauce Pots