Octopus salad

I know that Octopus isn’t something that English people rush to the shops for but it is eaten a lot on the Med. I first had it in Greece as a stew and more recently I ordered it in Portugal as a cold salad and I’ve been hooked ever since. However I’m trying to push myself not just to eat different foods but to cook them too so… I bought him:

Octopus Salad (serves two)

You need:

  • 500g whole fresh octopus (medium size)
  • 1 carrot, peeled unless organic
  • 1 litre of water
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 onion
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely  chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • A bunch of fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cucumber, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon of good quality olive oil

1      Chop the carrot and onion
2      Add 1 litre of water and the glass of white wine to a large pan and bring to the boil, add the vegetables
3      To clean the octopus you need to lay it on a chopping board and remove the innards and eyes, and the beak part and wash
4      Add the octopus whole to the pan
5      Cook on a medium heat for about 1 ½ hours until tender (you can also use a slow cooker for 4 hours on medium or on low overnight)
6      Remove the octopus, leave to cool then cut into small bite-sized chunks
7      Add all the other ingredients, mix together and chill for about an hour before serving

I looked at a few recipes on the internet and adapted to suit our tastes. I must admit that it is not a cheap dish as the octopus cost £5 but it is a good light summer starter or main with a big green salad and fresh bread. If you want to be really frugal keep the carrot and onion water after cooking the octopus – you can freeze it in a plastic bottle and use it as a base for bouillabaisse, for cooking mussels or as a stock for a seafood paella.

About walthamstowfoodies

We have a passion for good food – bought locally, cooked simply and shared with friends in Walthamstow, London and beyond
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