Gill Meller’s Cornish New potatoes with garlic, lemon, smoked paprika and seared squid

Skill level
Keen cook
Preparation Time
15 minutes
Cooking Time
25 minutes
Serves 2-3
Quick & easy
Main meal

“I love the way all the elements in this recipe come together and how well the textures and flavours complement each other. New potatoes, lemon, smoked paprika, garlic; it’s just such a great combination. If squid’s not your favourite, try doing the same thing with strips of chicken or halloumi cheese.” - Gill Meller. Recipe created for Seasonal Spuds, by Gill Meller.


  • 1kg of Cornish New potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half - if they’re big
  • 2-3 medium-sized fresh squid, cleaned and ready to cook
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
  • The zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 large knob of butter
  • 1 tsp lightly crushed fennel seeds
  • The leaves from 4-5 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tsp of smoked paprika
  • A handful of fresh chives and fennel tops, if available


  1. 1Place the potatoes into a large saucepan, cover with salted water and bring to the boil. Cook the potatoes for 10–12 minutes depending on their size. They should take the point of a knife with ease. When they are ready drain the potatoes in a colander and while they ‘e steaming off return the pan to the heat. Add the butter and 1 tbs of olive oil and when it’s bubbling away add the grated garlic and cook relatively gently, for 1 minute.
  2. 2Return the potatoes to the pan and add the lemon zest and half the lemon juice. Season them really well with ground black pepper and sea salt. Chop the chives and the fennel tops (if using) and add these to the potatoes. Give them a careful stir and set aside.
  3. 3Meanwhile take a small pan, add the flaked almonds and set over a medium heat. Toast the almonds for 1–2 minutes until they begin to colour. Remove from the heat and set aside for later.
  4. 4Use a sharp knife to split the tubular bodies of the squid so you can open them out as one piece. Score the squid lightly at 1cm intervals, first one way, then diagonally the other. Try not to cut right through to the board, the idea is to simply score the flesh. Cut the scored squid into thick strips about 4–5 cm thick. Place the squid in a bowl with the remaining tbls of olive oil, the smoked paprika, crushed fennel seeds, the thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Tumble it all together to coat.
  5. 5Light your barbecue or heat a heavy ridged grill pan over a high heat. Once it’s super hot and you’re you ready to cook, lay the squid down on the bars of the grill or in the pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side, but no more, or the squid may become tough.
  6. 6Arrange the potatoes over a large platter. Scatter over the hot smoky squid followed by the toasted almonds. Squeeze over the remaining lemon juice and trickle over a little of your best olive oil. If you have a few fennel tops left or even some chives flowers, scatter these over too. Serve at once.