Octopus Salad

Octopus_salad
I love octopus.  It really isn’t that difficult to make.  We had some people over for dinner and I made an octopus salad for all of us to pick at. 

The key to octopus is a wine cork.  No scientific reason but it works.  I got a 3 lb. octopus covered it in water in a pot added a sliced shallot, some olive oil, 2 bay leaves and of course the wine cork.  Brought that to a boil, then simmered for about 35 minutes or until a knife can easily slice through it.  Once the octopus is done, drain this and rinse with cold water.  At this point, I cut it into 8 pieces and put in the refrigerator for later.

When I was ready, I took the octopus out and coated it in a marinade.  1/2 cup olive oil, a whole lemon squeezed and also the rind grated, a handful of chopped fresh oregano and a pinch of hot red pepper flakes.  I let that sit for about 30 minutes, no more.  Then I grilled the octopus on the grill.  About 5 minutes per side or just until it is crispy.  Remember, the octopus has already been cooked so you are just warming it up and making it crisp.

I also took a head of celery and two heads of fennel sliced and sauteed that in olive oil and kosher salt.  I served that underneath the octopus, which I cut up after it was grilled.  Then I poured the marinade over the octopus before serving.

We had it at room temperature because I made it about 1/2 an hour before our friends got there.  Truth be told, it is better warm.