Garlicky Squid and Spinach Tsigareli — Σκορδάτα Kαλαμάρακια με Σπανάκι Τσιγαρέλι

Spinach: Not the most kid-friendly vegetable, you’ve got to admit. So when I put a heaping dish of this Garlicky Squid with Spinach Tsigareli in front of the kids the other day, it’s no wonder they kept pushing the green leafy strands to the edge of the dish and asking instead for more squid to compensate. Can’t blame them can you? Let’s just hope they’ll grow out of it one day; they’ll be missing out if they don’t. Because the kids may have been picking at the spinach strand by strand, but that didn’t keep ME from eating virtually the whole pot.

Yeah spinach can sometimes be a bland mushy green mess, but with plenty of paprika, cayenne and a little garlicky squid broth it reaches a whole new level. Well, it’s still mushy (can spinach ever not be?) but it’s extremely flavorful nonetheless and it packs A LOT of heat. As for the squid, in my opinion this humble cephalopod is surely at its finest here. A little garlic, a touch of red wine, a couple of tomatoes, some fresh parsley. Okay, so it’s LOADS of garlic and you might be afraid to speak to others after eating this, but trust me it’s GOOD! And you’re doing this dish and yourself a huge disservice by not eating almost an entire loaf of bread with this.

Garlicky Squid and Spinach Tsigareli — Σκορδάτα Kαλαμάρακια με Σπανάκι Τσιγαρέλι
Serves 4 to 6

2 lbs. squid, cleaned
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup red wine
1 cup whole tomatoes in juice, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water
Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 1/2 lbs. spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Hefty pinch of red pepper flakes
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or shallow pot. Add the parsley, garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook stirring for a couple of minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add squid, cook sitrring occasionally for a couple minutes more. Add wine and simmer briskly, uncovered, until slightly reduced, 7 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, water, salt and freshly ground pepper and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until squid is quite tender, 40 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the shallots and cook until fragrant in a large skillet. Stir in the paprika, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Add the spinach and stir to coat. Let the spinach wilt and cook down about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt, to taste, then remove from heat and set aside until the squid is cooked.

Once the squid is done, mound spinach in a dish, top with squid and plenty of hot broth and serve.

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12 Responses to “Garlicky Squid and Spinach Tsigareli — Σκορδάτα Kαλαμάρακια με Σπανάκι Τσιγαρέλι”

  1. Anna A. says:

    I ate this for the first time with the monks at St. Anthony’s Greek Monastery in AZ. Good stuff! Yours looks delicious, extra garlic is best!

  2. Cherine says:

    This dish looks awesome and full of flavors!

  3. Rosa says:

    Wow, that looks sooo good! What a splendid combo! I’m bookmarking this recipe.



  4. Ivy says:

    The dish sounds delicious. I’ve been making spinach the same way, but without these spices, many times. Never knew that this method is called tsigarelli. In other parts of Greece they would call this tsigaristo.

  5. This squid dish sounds very special to me : ) I would love to learn a different way to prepare the spinach !

  6. I love the whole combo of squid and spinach Maria! Bring on the extra garlic and chili…and yes, a loaf of bread!

  7. Lori Lynn says:

    The kids were asking for more squid? I’m impressed.

    The whole dish looks fabulous to me!

  8. Peter says:

    A nice extension of the first tsigarelli you made. The colour contrast red on green makes me hungry.

  9. I know what you mean about kids not liking spinach. I don’t have kids but I do know this from my boyfriend’s nieces. If they see even a speck of anything resembling a vegetable in their food, they immediately take it off the plate! How frustrating this must be for parents.
    Your dish looks fantastic. I’m having my morning coffee but still you’ve made me crave it. I haven’t had squid in a long time and I *love* spinach!

  10. I’m totally with you – I can’t get enough of spinach. I love it fresh, but cooked with lots of garlic, oh, boy…I like it with poached eggs and toast, but with squid, that sounds divine. I’m heading to Crete in a few weeks and can’t wait. The best food I’ve had in Europe has been in Greece! I hope we get to eat lots of squid.

  11. [...] just combined a few egg yolks, some half & half, marbled cheddar and a healthy spoonful of the Spinach Tsigareli I just used in another recipe and baked these little babies in a water-bath until they set. [...]

  12. Garlicky squid broth sounds like the perfect accompaniment to spinach. I love how caramelized you go the exterior of the squid.

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