Cuttlefish With Saffron and Potatoes

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img_2670Cuttlefish are an under-appreciated member of the cephalopod family. It’s cousins the octopus and squid seem to get all the attention at the party. The cuttlefish can be quickly grilled over high heat or braised until fork tender.

The next time you visit your fishmonger, ask him/her if they have any cuttlefish. Chances are they will have some, be it fresh or frozen. The cuttlefish that I’ve seen here in the market are either large or very small…fork-sized pieces. img_2660

Cuttlefish are totally Lent-friendly – no blood, which means fair game and good eats during this fasting period. This recipe comes from the book, The Complete  Book of Greek Cooking and as my own added touch, I added some saffron threads for that added brilliant yellow colour.img_4118

When seeking out cuttlefish, look for pre-cleaned ones as they are a little trickier to clean than say, squid.

This dish was quite filling, accompanied by a slice of bread and a salad and I would have no problem cooking this again on a “fish Friday” kind of day.

So, the next time you’re hankering for seafood, try some cuttlefish. They are cheap, sustainable source of seafood, easy to cook and always tender and delicious!

Cuttlefish With Saffron and Potatoes

(serves 4)img_2669-2

approx. 1 kg. of cuttlefish (fresh or thawed from frozen), cleaned by your fishmonger

1/3 cup olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

pinch of saffron threads

enough water to cover the contents in the skillet

(approx 1 cup)

4 large potatoes, cubed

4-5 scallions, chopped

fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup chopped fresh dill

sea salt and ground pepper to tasteimg_2671-1

  1. Rinse and drain the cleaned cuttlefish. If baby cuttlefish, leave whole but if large, cut them into rings.
  2. Place a large skillet on your stovetop over medium heat, add the oil and your onions and saute for about 5 minutes to soften. Now add the cuttlefish and saute until all the water that’s rendered from them has evaporated and the flesh starts to turn colour (10-15 minutes).
  3. Pour the wine saffron thrreads and simmer until most of it has evaporated. Now add the potatoes, scallions and enough water to almost cover the contents. Bring to a boil, cover then reduce to braise for about 40 minutes or until the cuttlefish and potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, add your chopped fresh dill and squeeze some fresh lemon juice to taste.
  5. Serve hot with some crusty bread and a dry white wine. Try a Tselepos Moschofilero. then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

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Peter Minakis

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36 Comments for “Cuttlefish With Saffron and Potatoes”


Your site is looking better and better every time I visit!!! Well done on all the hard work!!! The recipe for today is making my mouth water non-stop!!!!


Anything with potatoes is good in my book. I’ve never had cuttlefish but I love squid so I am sure I would enjoy it too.


That dish looks marvelous, Peter! I love those little cuttlefish,, but they are hard to find down here. I make an almost identical dish using squid, but mine is baked for an hour rather than braised on the stove. Either way, totally delicious!


Oh my!! I haven’t had cuttlefish for ages. AGES! goodness. I just realize it now, and don’t know where I suppose to find fresh ones such as yours. YUM!! Look delicious, PM!!


I’m very inspired by this dish Peter. “Soupies” are very under rated! I love the potatoes, saffron and the dill…in fact, I love it all! Great stuff!


The saffron added some nice color. I will have to search for cuttlefish but once again I am sure I am coming home empty handed. Stupid land locked states…..


looks delicious Peter… I should probably stop visiting before dinner. It makes me hungry and makes me want to change what I had planned for dinner. Happy Easter!


Way cool! I have never even heard of cuttlefish. I’m sure I would LOVE them because of my mad love for cephalopods :)


I have never had cuttle fish. for a second I thought u had a black & white pic up there:-) . The spices, yes saffron! & the potato sounds good with it.


I have got to find some Greek markets out here! Can’t you just ship me a few meals on ice..? I love the header pic- it looks like Octopus laundry, hanging out to dry!


what a fascinating-looking critter! i can honestly say i’ve never seen such a fish, either alive or on my plate. :)


I’ve never tried cuttlefish, but I’m eager to after reading this post. If I can’t find them, would it be OK to substitute squid?


I know cuttlefish would be impossible to find here. I love how the dish lokks and adding the saffron is pure genius. I am aching to try this with squid. Blessing to you as you observe Holy Week.


Interesting dish! I’m always trying to understand saffron, so it appeals to me, but I’m not sure where i would find the cuttlefish.



Τι ωραία που σας βρήκα!! Ίμουν στην Ελλάδα πριν τρία χρόνια και συνέχια ψάχνω καλό ελληνικό φαγητό… τώρα μπορώ να το κάνω στο σπίτι!
Tragically, I have yet to find a Greek market in NoVa/D.C. area, and only very few Greek restaurants.

Ευχαριστώ πολύ


That dish looks delicious Peter. Love the saffron and I have to look into getting some more myself–it always seems so cost prohibitive.


I love cuttle fish and I use it so in my kitchen. I’m happy to learn another cuttle fish with potatoes recipe! Got a try it your way :D It will surely be a winner in my family ;D