Sautéing, grilling and frying are the typical methods for cooking squid, but Josh DeChellis has found that steaming yields the most tender results. Adding powdered toasted nori gives the squid a briny kick and a bit of vitamin C as well.
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1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
5 ounces spinach, large stems discarded
1 slice center-cut bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced roasted red pepper (from a jar)
1 tablespoon of toasted nori powder (see Note)
Pinch of cayenne
1 pound cleaned squid bodies, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, bring the wine and water to a boil. Add the clams, cover and cook over high heat until they open, about 4 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open. Transfer the clams to a bowl and discard the shells. Pour the cooking liquid over the clams, stopping before you reach the grit at the bottom of the saucepan.
Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the spinach and stir-fry over moderately high heat until wilted. Transfer the spinach to a bowl and let cool slightly, then coarsely chop it.
Set the skillet over low heat. Add the bacon and cook until slightly crisp, about 4 minutes. Increase the heat to moderate, add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the roasted red pepper, nori powder and cayenne. Add the clams and their cooking liquid and the chopped spinach and stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
In a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1/2 inch of water to a boil. Scatter the squid in the basket and season with salt and pepper. Cover and steam the squid over high heat until white, about 2 minutes. Add the squid to the spinach and clams along with the lemon zest and toss well. Season with salt. Transfer to plates, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
The clams and the spinach can be refrigerated separately overnight.
To make the toasted nori powder, use tongs to hold half a nori sheet 4 inches from the heat, either over a gas flame or under the broiler, turning constantly, until the nori begins to curl, about 10 seconds. Let cool slightly, then tear into small pieces and grind in a spice grinder. Half a sheet makes 1 tablespoon of powder.