Octopus is one of my favorite foods. I know what you all may be thinking…”ewwww octopus!” Or, “I can’t eat that because of the tentacles”. Have an open mind people!!! When cooked right, this seafood is so tender and yummy! You need to boil it before grilling/sautéing or it will become rubber bands when cooked. This recipe isn’t labor intensive, it just takes a while to make because it has to boil for an hour and then marinate overnight and into the next day…but it is sooooo worth it! I would make this dish for your next party to impress your guests. I made this for the 7 Fishes for Christmas Eve and it was a hit! Hope you like it too :)
Serves: 4-6 people as an appetizer
2 - 2lb Octopus - defrosted if frozen
2 Small Yellow Onions - small chopped
1 Medium Carrot - peeled and small chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper - small chopped
1 lemon - juiced plus adding the whole lemon to the boiling mixture
1 cup Good Red Wine (or a wine you would drink)
3/4 cup White Vinegar
2 tbsp Light Oil
1/2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Store Bought Chimichurri with Olive Oil (I used Badia brand)
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Ground Thyme
1 tsp Dried Oregano
5 tbsp Iodized Salt
2 tbsp Sugar
10 cups of Water
Additional Ingredients Needed:
Spray Oil For the Grill
1 Large Ball of Burrata Cheese - cut into pieces
3 Medium Tomatoes- sliced
Salt and Pepper
Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for drizzling over the top at the end)
Balsamic Glaze (for drizzling over the top at the end)
(IMPORTANT note…this is a 2 day cooking process because it needs to marinate overnight!)
1. Using a very large pot, heat 2 tbsp light oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped onions, pepper and carrot and cook for 3-4 min or until the onions are opaque and sweated through.
2. Add the spices, wine and vinegar and bring to a simmer on medium high heat for 2 minutes. Then, turn to medium heat and cook for an additional 7 minutes.
3. Add 10 cups water, 5 tbsp iodized salt, sugar and the juice of 1 lemon with the juiced lemon added to the liquid as well. Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, checking the octopus occasionally and pushing it into the liquid with your spoon (it will partially float).
4. After an hour of cooking let it cool for 30 minutes and then add the mixture + octopus to a large heat proof bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, continue to marinate for at least 8 hours.
5. When it is 10 minutes to serving, prepare your grill by spraying it with cooking spray and heat the grill to medium heat. Once hot, add the octopus from the marinade and cook 3 minutes a side.
6. Transfer the grilled octopus to a fancy serving plate. Arrange the burrata around the octopus and the tomatoes around and on top of the octopus. Drizzle the good quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze over the plate and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!!