Prawn on the Lawn's Rick and Katie Toogood's pan-fried whole squid

Luxury London

6 July 2021

A sizzling summer dish: pan-fried whole squid with capers, preserved lemon and tarragon by Rick and Katie Toogood of Prawn on the Lawn, a fishmonger and seafood bar with outposts in Padstow and London

"Keeping squid whole and frying in the pan gives you a great contrast in textures – the wings crisp up and the body should melt in your mouth. Combine this with the dressing in this recipe and you’ll find it’s a match made in heaven! When buying your squid, ask your fishmonger to keep the wings of the squid attached – these parts are usually thrown away, but when pan-fried have a great flavour."

6 July 2021 | Luxury London

Serves 4

For the dressing:

1 tbsp capers, chopped
2 tbsp white balsamic or sherry vinegar
a small handful of tarragon, chopped
1 tbsp preserved lemon, chopped
2 tsp of liquor from the preserved lemon jar
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
4 squid, cleaned and kept whole, including tentacles, around 800 g/1lb 12 oz in total
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
sea salt, to taste
wedges of lemon, to serve


Mix together all the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Lay the squid out, so the wings are flat on the board. Using a sharp knife, carefully score the top side of the squid, ensuring these scores don’t go through to the underside of the hood. Pat the squid and tentacles dry with paper towels, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt.

Heat a frying pan (skillet), large enough to hold all the squid, until nice and hot. Add the tentacles first as these need a little more cooking than the body. After 1 minute, lay the body in the pan with the wings flat on the surface of the pan. Don’t be tempted to move the squid, just let it cook for about 2 minutes, until it has built up some golden colour, then flip it over and repeat.

Place the squid on the serving plates and spoon over the dressing, having given it a good mix beforehand. Add another sprinkle of salt and serve, with lemon wedges on the side.

Pairs well with: a dry, pale and crisp rosé from Provence or the Loire Valley

The Prawn on the Lawn cookbook is published by Pavilion Books, £18.99