Whenever we spend a few days in the south of France, this dish is invariably on the menu. Everyone is gathered round the barbecue to admire the beautiful colours and smells, it’s simply delicious. But why not create it whatever the weather? An incredibly easy recipe, bursting with flavours that you can simply recreate at home with a griddle.

Whole grilled squid, red rice and fresh herbs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Whole Grilled Squid

  • 4 (small to medium size) clean whole squid
  • 300g red rice
  • 750g water
  • 20g mixed herbs (tarragon, dill, coriander, parsley)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

To prepare the marinade:

  • 2 de-seeded red chillies
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • ½ stick of lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp. soya sauce
  • handful of sliced mint leaves
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Roughly chop the red chillies and lemongrass before putting into a large mixing bowl together with the juice of a lemon, soya sauce, olive oil and crushed garlic.
  2. Wipe your squid down with a dry cloth or piece of paper to remove any remaining impurities. Then place into the mixing bowl and rub the marinade all over. Sprinkle the mint leaves on top of the squids with a couple of pinches of pepper.
  3. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. In the meantime, rinse the red rice under cold water before putting in a medium sized saucepan filled with water and a pinch of salt. Once boiling, reduce the heat and leave the rice to simmer; cover with a lid and cook for 40 to 45 minutes.
  5. Once cooked, strain off the rice and drizzle some olive oil on top.
  6. Remove the squids from the marinade without discarding any excess oil or garnish inside. This will season and avoid the seafood sticking to the pan. Get your griddle as hot as possible to get those special chard marks on the squid without overcooking them. They will only need a couple of minutes on each side to be beautifully tender.
  7. Rinse your freshly plucked herbs under cold water and gently dry them off on a piece of paper. These little leaves add freshness and an extra crunch to the dish.

This colourful dish needs a wine just as perky to accompany it. A particularly crisp and fruity rosé would do wonders for this Mediterranean recipe. I suggest the 2013 Cuvée Clarendon Domaine Gavoty from Aix-en-Provence. This young wine has an intense peppery nose and a real array of red fruit flavour.

On a slightly more classic note, I think the 2014 Sancerre from Andre Dezat would also be an excellent choice with this dish. This is an impeccably balanced white wine from the Loire region lively enough to challenge the squid.

At last, I recommend a personal favourite of mine from further afield. A delicious white wine from New Zealand; with plenty of hints of smokiness, just perfect for this charred squid. The Cloudy Bay, Te Koko 2010 is probably the best Sauvignon Blanc to complement this special dish.

Wines to drink with whole grilled squid, red rice and fresh herbs by Michel Roux Jr.

Cuvee Clarendon, Domaine Gavoty, Aix en Provence 2014: Herbacious and fruity, this mouthwatering rose from the 200 year old Gavoty vineyard in Provence, is rich with sweet and spicy notes of melon and fig.
RRP: £10.95 from Jeroboams

Sancerre Blanc, Andre Dezat 2014: Wonderfully citrusy with an almost sherbert aroma, this Sancerre is unctuous with stone fruit flavours. The lime notes are sharp enough to blend beautifully with the rustic charred flavours of the grilled squid.
RRP: £14.60 from Tanners

Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc, Cloudy Bay 2012: With crisp falvours of lemon and grapefruit, the Te Koko is subtly sweet with notes of nectarine and honeysuckle. There is a herbacious quality to ths wine which is wat makes it so wonderfully complex on the nose. The perfect partner to tender, smoky squid with that little bite of chilli.
RRP: £37.50 from Roberson