Braised Squid with Fennel and Squid Ink Mayonnaise

Curtis Di Fede

Miminashi, Napa, CA

Curtis Di Fede favors squid from Monterey Bay, which is located on the central coast of California.


Braised Squid:

  • 2 pounds squid bodies, cleaned and sliced into rings
  • 1 bulb fennel, julienned
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine

Squid Ink Mayonnaise:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons squid ink
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup safflower oil
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt as needed


  • 1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley


Braise the squid: place the squid in a medium pan over medium-high heat. (Do not add any oil to the pan.) Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squid has taken on a golden color on its edges and has created brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the fennel, red onions, and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan and loosen the brown bits. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the squid is tender, about 45 minutes.

Make the mayonnaise: in a food processor or blender, blend together the egg yolks, squid ink, and lemon juice. In a separate bowl, combine the safflower oil and olive oil. With the machine running, very slowly add the oils. Once all of the oil is incorporated, turn off the machine and season the mayonnaise with salt.

Grill 6 slices of Italian bread on a grill or in a grill pan, about 3 minutes each side. Lightly rub the bread slices with the whole garlic clove. Place the grilled bread in the center of a large serving plate, top with braised squid, and drizzle with mayonnaise. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.


6 servings