Cuttlefish with Raspberries
French Bistro is not your typical cookbook. In fact, it’s more of an homage to traditional bistros, with references to real people and actual Parisian establishments.
The book would be a smart read prior to a Paris visit!
Instead of typical chapters, they are organized by ten bistro “essentials”: The Owner, The Chef, The Chalkboard Menu, The Wine, The Servers, The Table, The Decor, The Clients, The Ambiance, and The Aromas.
The authors are Bertrand Auboyneau and Francois Simon, and it was published in 2012.
If you have a love for bistros in general, especially with those quintessential French elements like vintage tiles, carved wood elements, the lamps, the windows, and so forth, you will love the photographs in the book, as I did.
There are recipes in the book, and they’re all exciting to me. But alas, if I were to make food that involved sweetbreads, sardines, liver and tongue, I’d be eating it all by myself.
I decided on a cuttlefish recipe. My husband won’t eat those, either, but I only ordered one pound’s worth in order to make this recipe.
After much searching, because I was not familiar with cuttlefish were, I discovered that they are short stubby squid, called Sepia in Italian. I knew I would like them, because I have a love affair with all creatures tentacled!
Following is the actual recipe from French Bistro, somewhat modified because my cuttlefish, about 4 ounces each, were much larger than the ones pictured in the book.
Cuttlefish Sautéed with Raspberries, Verjus-Style
1 pound cuttlefish, or 3 – 4 ounce cuttlefish
4 ounces raspberries
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Vincotto
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped parsley, optional
Rinse the cuttlefish well in water before using.
Heat up a pot of water that they will fit in to a strong simmer. Poach the cuttlefish for 5 minutes.
Remove them to paper towels and dry well. Pop out the beak in the middle of the tentacles. It will just pop out.
Mash the raspberries with a fork and set aside.
Add about half of the olive oil to a skillet and heat over high heat. Add the cuttlefish and brown just slightly. It should take about 2 minutes.
Remove them to a plate, turn down the heat a bit, and add the raspberries and remaining olive oil.
I also added about a teaspoon of vincotto for some sweetness.
To serve, place some lettuce leaves on a plate (this is completely optional) and place the cuttlefish over them.
Add the raspberry-olive oil mixture, and season with salt and pepper.
I also added a little chopped parsley.
These were so wonderful it’s hard to describe them. And with the raspberry mixture the whole meal was just divine.
Not only was this a great dish for warm weather, it would be good with strawberries as well in the spring. I love cuttlefish!
Unusual and delicious sounding dish. Book sounds great too; I love traditional French bistro food.
It’s the best!
Delicious and unusual … I’d have shared that you you in a blink!
“with” you, sorry, got over-excited. ;)
Love the pics, especially #1, 3 and the last one. Even though I despise fish & seafood :-) .
Oh, that’s right. You weirdo!!!
When I think about bistro foods, such a dish doesn’t come to mind, but no doubt the use of raspberries with cuttlefish is very French. I love the combination!
I’d never even heard of cuttlefish so I’m excited I found some to try!
I’ve tried it before, though still prefer calamari to it, I like the texture and flavor.
I agree with your husband – no thanks; I did eat liver and onions at one time though. It makes me squeamish just looking at the cuttlefish. The raspberries look good :)
Well you obviously lived to talk about eating liver! But I understand there are personal taste and texture opinions!
That was 35 years ago and I only mentioned liver because you did. You are right about texture – no thanks to clams, calamari, oysters. Did not mean to come across so harshly!
Oh no, you didn’t. I know very few people who like liver!
I love bistros, cuttlefish, vincotto and raspberries…and I love this recipe!
Thank you! It was exquisite!
Such a creative recipe and the book sound deliciously romantic. GREG
Thanks Greg! I’d never even heard of cuttlefish before!
Very unusual combination. Nice that you liked it so much.
Mimi you are a fantastic chef! I love your recipes and this one is simply fabulous, so inventive. Well done.
Thank you so much Alida!
Definitely something for me to plan on making! (That cookbook sounds fun, too.)
You’ll love it!
I’ve never had this combination of any berries with seafood. It looks amazing!
I was surprised at how really really good it was!
Bistro food is great! I’ve never cooked cuttlefish (not sure if I’ve ever had them, although I think I’ve had them in one of those seafood sampler appetizer things in restaurants). And would never think to combine them with raspberries! Neat dish — thanks.
It’s quite unique. I’m sure I haven’t had them before, unless I assumed they were squid.
That’s an intriguing sauce Mimi.
It was almost too simple to be true! I think you’re the one who introduced me to vincotto! So thanks!
There are similarities but actually squid and cuttlefish are 2 entirely different species of the cephalopod family and not interchangeable in recipes. Cuttlefish requires much longer cooking than squid, it has a thicker and tougher flesh. Cuttlefish are indigenous to the southern waters of Australia and the Melbourne Aquarium has a breeding pair. Cuttlefish use neon coloured skin colour and pattern pulses to attract a mate. They are mesmerising to watch. Squid have no such party tricks. The southern beaches of OZ are scattered with the broad hard bones of cuttlefish. Squid only have a thin flexible cartilage. You cooked squid/calamari
That’s an unusual combination for me- fish and fruit together. But I take your word for it- sounds deilciious!
Oh it was spectacular!!!
The book sounds great – I love bistro recipes. This one, however, is one of the most unusual I have seen. I don’t think I’ve ever seen raspberries paired with seafood!
I know. And you’d expect it more from a seaside bistro, but I’m so glad I tried it.
Beautiful photos! Cuttlefish are such funny looking things. :)
They truly are!
Bistros have fantastic food. On my last trip to Paris I ate in a real good one called “La Fontaine De Mars”, is that one in your book? I never cooked with cuttlefish , does it taste like calamari?
No, it’s not one of them. It is very much like calamari. There’s supposed to be a flesh thickness difference in the head, but I can’t remember which way.
Now this is a combination that I’d never have thought of. But it sounds like one worth trying! I’m a big fan of both of the main ingredients.
(And now I’m going to be *that guy* and mention that cuttlefish in Italian is spelled “seppia” with two p’s…)
Ah, that must be the Spanish word for them! Thank you. Good to know. It was truly a remarkable dish.
What an interesting combination. I’m an adventurous eater, and I go out for dinner a lot – always making a point to order something I’ve never had if I can find it. Well, I’ve never had this, for sure. I’d love to taste it!
I’m with you. I always try something new. I finally had soft shell crab in NYC this summer. Not really impressed, but I tried it!