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Braised Squid with Chermoula, Olives and Pine Nuts
© Lisa Linder

Braised Squid with Chermoula, Olives and Pine Nuts

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN

Mourad Lahlou says that chermoula (a Moroccan seasoning containing primarily garlic and coriander) is essentially the salsa verde of Morocco. It’s typically cooked overnight, but Lahlou’s version has an abundance of parsley and cilantro in it and is meant to be eaten soon after it’s made. He says, “This dish has the flavors and spices of Morocco, but is much brighter.”


  1. 1 cup pine nuts (6 ounces)
  2. 3 pounds cleaned squid, bodies and tentacles left whole
  3. 8 dried chiles d’Arbol
  4. 12 large garlic cloves, peeled
  5. 24 thyme sprigs
  6. 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  7. Kosher salt
  8. 4 cups pure olive oil
  9. 2 cups pitted green olives (12 ounces), coarsely chopped


  1. 1 1/2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
  2. 1 1/2 cups tender cilantro stems
  3. 3 garlic cloves
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  5. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  7. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  8. 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  9. 1/2 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon peel (see Note)
  10. Kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and toast them for about 10 minutes, until golden. Let the pine nuts cool.
  2. BRAISE THE SQUID In a large, deep ovenproof skillet, toss the squid with the dried chiles, garlic cloves, thyme, peppercorns and a generous pinch of salt and let stand for 10 minutes. Add the olive oil and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the squid is very tender. Let the squid cool in the oil.
  3. Transfer the squid to a cutting board. Cut the bodies into rings and halve the tentacles. Transfer the squid to a large bowl and toss with the toasted pine nuts and olives. Discard the oil.
  4. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE CHERMOULA In a blender, combine the parsley leaves with the cilantro stems, garlic cloves, ground coriander, black pepper, cumin and cayenne and pulse to chop the herbs. With the machine on, gradually pour in the olive oil and puree until smooth. Add the preserved lemon peel and pulse once or twice to chop. Add the chermoula to the squid, season with salt and toss to coat. Serve the squid warm or at room temperature.
Make Ahead

The cooked squid can be refrigerated in the oil overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.


Preserved lemon peel is available at specialty markets and from

Suggested Pairing

Fragrant, floral Rhône-style whites go well with the aromatic herbs and olives in this squid dish.



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