For years, octopus was something I always ordered in restaurants because it was something I thought I couldn’t make at home. I rarely saw it in supermarkets and I thought it was too difficult to cook. Recently I have begun to see it on the shelves of stores and whether fresh or frozen, it seems to have become more accessible as well as affordable.
I found that boiling the octopus and then charring it comes the closest to the taste I recall in the tavernas in Athens or tapas bars in Barcelona: clean flavors of tender meat with flavorful blackened skin, served with vinaigrette-coated greens or some garlicky potatoes. I hope you will give this a try and serve with delicious Long Island fingerling potatoes and winter greens.
2.5 lbs. fresh Spanish baby octopus or use cuttlefish or larger squid
1.5 lbs. North fingerling potatoes or red skin potatoes (if serving with potatoes) If serving with winter greens, consider baby kale, watercress or spinach)
4 cloves garlic
2 T fresh, chopped parsley
2 T chopped onions
6 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T rice vinegar
2 t dried oregano
2 t dried basil
1 t dijon mustard
juice of one lemon
Boil potatoes for about 15 minutes, then chill and cut into 1-inch cubes.
Boil octopus for 45 minutes. 10 minutes before the octopus is done, sauté the sliced potatoes in 3 T olive oil, tossing occasionally to brown, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds) then add slices of octopus and gently toss with the vinaigrette and herbs. Serve warm.