Here is yet another fond food memory from Madrid: stir fried saffron squid with flat beans! Or in Spanish: judías con calamares… Squid and what? What a surprising flavor combo this is!
Yes, another one of our fond food memory that we brought home with is after visiting another country.
This time this one comes straight from the lovely city streets of Madrid…
Judías Con Calamares
I was with a bunch of Spanish local friends and avid foodies visiting this marvelous city and one night they brought us to a restaurant by the name of Surtopia.
It turned out to be quite a fancy place but the food was absolutely gorgeous, pure, affordable and honest.
No foams here or chlorophyll drops there.
Dishes with excellent fresh products and ingredients.
We had a hard time making a choice on what to eat because quite honestly all of their dishes on the menu sounded very promising.
Best Squid with Flat Beans (Judías con Calamares)
I also remember the pickled sardines with shaved cucumber plated up in a typical oval fish can.
Then followed by fried tortillitas full of tiny crispy shrimp, the creamiest ensaladilla rusa and amazing ox meatballs.
I am glad that in Spain it is absolutely normal to share food. That way were able to taste several other splendid dishes.
But when the squid with flat green beans appeared on the table, the hubs and I automatically looked at each other and said: we will make this one at home one day.
How simple and pure is this!
So for his birthday I decided to surprise him and make him a portion of squid with flat beans, together with white beans and clams.
I put it in front of him and before I had said anything, he immediately said: “Squid with flat beans! Madrid!”
Mission accomplished I guess.
Best Squid with Flat Beans Recipe
A fond food memory from Madrid: stir fried saffron squid with flat beans! Or in Spanish: judías con calamares... Surprising combo!
- 9 oz fresh baby squid (250 g)
- 1 lb fresh flat beans (450 g)
- 1 medium garlic clove
- a pinch saffron threads or powder
- 1 bay leaf
- olive oil
- paprika powder
- a handful fresh mint
Soak the saffron threads in a tiny bit of water. If you are using saffron powder, skip this step. Clean the squid: see
here how to clean squids step by step. Once the squid is cleaned and rinsed well, cut the squid into smaller bite-size rings. Put the squid in the fridge for now.
Trim the flat beans and cut them into bite-size bits. Add them together with the chopped garlic clove and a little olive oil to a large non-stick pan.
Stir and gently pan fry the garlic and beans for a couple of minutes. Then put a lid on the pan and cook the beans for 6 to 7 minutes until cooked but still a little crunchy.
Transfer the flat beans to a clean plate and cover with tinfoil. Add extra olive oil to the hot pan. Turn the heat high and add the chopped up squid. Season with salt and a pinch of spicy paprika. Quickly stir fry the squid for a minute. Don't overcook it or it will be chewy and rubbery.
- After one minute turn off the heat. Add the flat beans back to the pan together with the soaked saffron and its soaking water (or the saffron powder).
- Stir the squid and beans well, add the fresh mint leaves and let it all sit in the hot pan for another 2 minutes. Check the seasoning and add extra salt or spicy paprika. Scoop the squid and flat beans onto deep plates, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.
Is fresh squid healthy?
Yes, fresh squid is a healthy food.
It is a rich source of protein, contains essential vitamins and minerals, and is low in calories.
Have you ever cooked with fresh squid before?
Cleaning fresh squid is so easy: take a look at my step by step picture guide!
What are flat beans?
Flat beans are a variety of beans that are broader and flatter than other types of beans. They have a mild, nutty flavor and are often used in salads, stir–fries, and other dishes.
Flat beans are also known as Romano beans, Italian beans, or string beans.
They can be purchased at grocery stores, health food stores, farmers markets and online.
Where do flat beans originally come from?
Flat beans are native to South and Central America, but they are now grown around the world.
What is a good protein to match flat beans with?
Preferably proteins that are not very overpowering flavor.
A good match is grilled chicken, salmon or squid with flat beans. You can also try tofu, tempeh, or seitan for a plant–based option.
How to clean flat beans?
To clean flat beans, start by rinsing them under cold running water in a colander.
You can then use your hands to remove any dirt, dust, sand or debris. Once the beans are clean, you can cook or store them as desired.
It is not necessary to trim flat beans, but you may want to if you want to make sure they cook evenly. If you choose to trim them, use a sharp knife to trim off the ends.