Braised Octopus and Tangy Potato Salad

  • Yield : 6 to 8 servings
  • Prep Time : 25m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 55m
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  • One 4-pound whole small octopus (2kg)
  • 1/2 cup/125ml chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon/15ml olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 shallots, halved
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup/125ml sour gherkins, cut into small dice
  • 1/4 cup/60ml capers
  • 1/4 cup/60ml olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon/15ml grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon/15ml white balsamic vinegar
  • 8 fingerling potatoes, cooked until al dente and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 fresh red chile pepper, thinly sliced
  • A handful fresh chives, finely chopped
  • A handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon zest and celery leaves, for garnish


Step 1

For the octopus: Cut the head off the octopus. Combine the tentacles, parsley, olive oil, oregano, thyme, shallots and garlic in a cast-iron pot over medium-high heat. Cover and gradually bring the mixture to a boil. You don't need to add any liquid to the pot because the octopus will release its own braising liquid. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour.

Step 2

Remove the octopus from the heat and let cool in the braising liquid. On a large piece of plastic wrap, lay the tentacles top to tail. Season with salt and cracked pepper. Tightly roll up (it should look like a long sausage). Use more plastic wrap to secure the octopus, if necessary. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) to set.

Step 3

For the potato salad: Combine the gherkins, capers, oil, mustard, vinegar, potatoes, shallots, chiles, chives and parsley in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 4

To serve, unwrap the octopus and thinly slice. Divide the octopus among plates, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with lemon zest and celery leaves. Serve the potato salad alongside.

Step 5

Cook's Note: The octopus head can be reserved and then sliced and eaten with the rest of the dish.

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