Don’t be scared! This isn’t as hard or as yucky as it looks. In fact, it’s soo good. We first fell in love with this dish in Croatia during our honeymoon. It’s a light (yet still hearty) and fresh salad and a perfect start to a meal.
Here’s what you’ll need…
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 C red onion, chopped
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
A handful of fresh oregano, for garnish
First, be sure to thoroughly rinse the octopus and remove the ink sac and the beak if that has not already been done by your fish monger (directions here). In a dutch oven (or large sauce pan), add 2 tbsp olive oil, the garlic and the cleaned octopus over medium-low heat. Cover and let cook for approximately 45 minutes. The octopus will release a significant amount of fluid and subsequently reabsorb the majority of it. To test if the octopus is fully cooked, insert a knife into the thickest piece of each part (head and tentacles). The knife should enter with a little bit of resistance, but should easily come out. At this point, remove the octopus and let it completely cool on a separate plate slowly at room temperature. Leave the remaining juices in the pot and continue to cook down until it’s reached roughly half of its volume. Once cool, cut the octopus into small, thin slices.
To assemble the salad, place the octopus, 1 tbsp of cooking liquid (once reduced), tomatoes, onion, capers, lemon juice and remaining olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly mix all ingredients together, salt and pepper to taste and serve with fresh oregano for garnish.