Skill level

Average: 3 (2 votes)


  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 dried bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 kg cuttlefish, cleaned
  • 150 g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 baby fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • 2 inner celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g bottarga (see Note), grated


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink 2011 Contini Karmis Bianco Tharros. Or try a dry white with balanced citrus notes.

Place lemon, cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, tomatoes, 1 tbsp salt and 1.25 litre water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, skimming any impurities that rise to the surface if necessary. Add cuttlefish, cook for 1 minute or until cuttlefish starts to curl, then remove from heat and allow cuttlefish to cool in mixture for 20 minutes.

Remove cuttlefish from liquid, discarding liquid. Pat dry and cut into 3 mm-thick slices. Place in a bowl with mushrooms, fennel, fennel fronds and celery.

Whisk together lemon juice and oil, and season with salt and pepper. Add dressing to salad, toss gently to combine and stand for 5 minutes to allow flavours to develop.  

Divide cuttlefish salad among serving plates and sprinkle with bottarga to serve.


• Bottarga are dried and salted mullet roe sacs. They are available from selected delis, specialist food shops and fishmongers.


Photography by Chris Chen and Alan Benson. Wine suggestions by Tim Watkins.