Riz saffrané aux légumes et calamars sur épinards sautés

If you don’t like squid, you can use anything you like, such as shrimps, mussels, chicken, etc…I have a little weakness for strange things coming from the sea with tentacles, so you’ll find many recipes on this blog with squid, octopus, etc…

The rice was cooked like paella along with the vegetables and the broth, but it’s definitely not paella. It’s a simple dish that would fit in the category “comfort food” even though I don’t like to think of food as being comforting. It makes me feel that at some point, it replaces a friend and that is a strange perception. I don’t think there is a translation in French for “comfort food”, I would think the closest word would be “appaisant” or “calmant“, appeasing? calming?

The presentation is not that delicate, nor elegant, but it is indeed colorful. This is one of those dishes you really enjoy when you have a craving of rice, seafood and greens but also when you don’t have time to “take care” of your dish. It just cooks by itself with no surveillance.

In a week from today I will be on a flight to go home, let’s hope by then the bad weather will no longer be bad…so that means eating a lot of seafood. In France during the Christmas holidays, seafood is all over, crab, lobster, oysters, etc…and its the time of the year when seafood it’s the freshest.

Ingredients for 4

  • 9.87 oz (or 280 g) basmati rice
  • 1 lb squid, cleaned
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienne
  • 2 zucchini, julienne
  • 1 fennel, chopped
  • 1 dose saffron
  • 16 fl oz vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

For the spinach

  • 2 bunches spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add shallots and garlic, stir. Add vegetable julienne, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add saffron and stir. Add rice. Coat the rice with oil. Add broth where saffron had been infused. Then add squid. Adjust with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook at low temperature for about 15-20 minutes.

For the spinach, heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic. Stir a little without burning the garlic, add washed and drained spinach. Adjust with salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach are soft.

Divide spinach in each dish and spoon over calamari-rice on top.