Squid Pizza with Saffron Aioli

Michael Emanuel (an alumnus of Berkeley's Chez Panisse) tops this pizza with an irresistible mix of Provençal flavors: salty-sweet roasted squid, creamy aioli and crushed red pepper (French piment d'Espelette would also work well). The remaining aioli can be used as a dip for vegetables or a spread for sandwichesMore Pizza Recipes

Squid Pizza with Saffron Aioli
Photo: © James Baigrie
Total Time:
35 mins
1 12-inch pizza


  • Pinch of saffron threads

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

  • Salt

  • Cayenne pepper

  • 6 ounces cleaned squid—tentacles halved, bodies sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting

  • 6 ounces pizza dough

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 large plum tomato, diced

  • 1 teaspoon chopped marjoram

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 500°. Preheat a pizza stone. In a small bowl, crumble the saffron into the water; let steep for 5 minutes. In a blender or bowl, beat the egg yolk with the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Gradually add the 3/4 cup of olive oil, beating constantly, until very thick. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and the saffron water and season the aioli with salt and cayenne.

  2. In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the squid, season with salt and black pepper and cook over high heat until just starting to whiten, 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate.

  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pizza dough to a 12-inch round, 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the round to a lightly floured pizza peel. Leaving a 1/2-inch border of dough, brush the round with olive oil and sprinkle with crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper. Scatter the onion slices over the round and top with the squid, tomato and marjoram.

  4. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake for about 5 minutes, until the bottom is crisp. Transfer the pizza to a work surface and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the aioli. Reserve the remaining aioli for another use. Garnish the pizza with the parsley, cut into wedges and serve.

Make Ahead

The saffron aioli can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

A citrusy California Chardonnay complements this aioli-drizzled pizza.

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