White Wine-Braised And Chargrilled Greek Octopus Salad. A textured twist on a traditional salad.
1.5kg medium-large whole octopuses (ask fishmonger to clean them)
750ml white wine
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Cooking oil spray
1/4 cup lemon juice
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
40g baby rocket
Chargrilled lemon halves, to serve
250g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 baby fennel, thinly sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves
2 tbsp chopped oregano leaves
1/4 cup whole Ligurian black olives
2 tbsp caperberries or capers
Slice off octopus heads below eyes and remove skin from heads. Cut bodies in half, top to bottom. Place octopus pieces, including heads, wine and vinegar in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until tender when tested with a fork. (May take 30 minutes or more depending on size and toughness). Drain in a colander. When cool enough to handle, run hands over tentacles to remove membrane and suckers, if necessary. Gently rinse. Cut into smaller portions with 2-3 tentacles per piece.
Heat a chargrill pan over a medium heat. Spray octopus pieces with cooking oil. Cook, turning, for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and charred. Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together salad ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice and olive oil, and toss into salad. Serve octopus with salad, rocket and lemon halves.
We used larger octopus as the texture is more “meaty”. Baby octopus can be used instead and left whole during braising, with no further preparation needed.