This year summer started late and ended ever faster. There was no sun in Paris until mid-July and even though I arrived at the Croatian coast at the same time as I do every year, this time I had to leave earlier.
I have been under stress of not wasting any minute of my precious time there. I wanted to be at the same time at several different places and do so many things in so little a time. Mornings were mostly occupied by long breakfasts followed by an hour on the beach, just until time to prepare lunch, when the sun rise high on the horizon.
Here in Croatia, in the coastal region above all, the main food are fish and other seafood. Everything a fisherman catches in his net during night catch or in the early morning when the sea is still calm, feeds him and his family. All of the catch is welcome and non of it is wasted.
I remember when my grandma and elderly ladies from the village would gather and sit on the porch talking about man going to uligne or squid hunt in the evening. If the hunt was successful, there would be a true feast the following day. A simple meal would be made, the squids would be baked on the stove with potatoes and chard or prepared with white wine in a risotto.
My mother would always prepare them the simplest way. Tender and sweet sautéed squids, served with a good portion of cooked swiss chard from Dalmatian garden, make this meal one of the highlights of summer cuisine.
Sautéed squids in white wine sauce
Makes enough for 2-4 people
500 – 800g of fresh squids or calamari
2 spoons of olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 glass of white wine
salt and pepper to taste
Remove the squid’s interiors, rinse it under tap water and dry.
Chop the onion and garlic clove. Heat the olive oil in the pan, sauté the onion and garlic.
Add the squids, salt and pepper to taste and cover the pan with the lid. It is important not to open the lid. Shake the pan vigorously not letting the squids stick to the bottom. They will release their own juices and cook. When you start hearing the squids pop, they are almost done. Splash with a glass of wine and let it cook for another two minutes. Shake well the pan and turn off the heat.
Serve with steamed swiss chard and cooked potatoes drizzled with olive oil.