Octopus salad with potatoes, capers and olives

Octopus salad with potatoes, capers and olives

By
From
Spring
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Andy Sewell

Octopus – cooked slowly until it is meltingly tender – is wonderful to eat and its long, languid, purple-coloured tentacles have a striking appearance on the plate. Scattered with capers and olives, and accompanied by nutty young potatoes and cima di rapa, it tastes perfect at room temperature. As a rule, I am averse to the use of frozen food, but this cephalopod is an exception – octopus that has been frozen first gives a much more tender end result.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the octopus

Quantity Ingredient
1 octopus (about 2kg), frozen and fully defrosted
350ml dry white wine
100ml olive oil
a small bunch thyme sprigs
a small bunch flat-leaf parsley, stalks and leaves separated
2 bay leaves
15 black peppercorns

For the salad

Quantity Ingredient
700g little potatoes, (ideally Roseval or Ratte)
extra virgin olive oil, for dressing
1 lemon, juiced, or to taste
a bunch cima di rapa, trimmed and well rinsed
20 black olives
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, well rinsed
a small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped, leaves only
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rinse the octopus well under cold running water. Now prise out its beak at the centre of its head (it will pop out easily). Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Plunge the octopus into the boiling water, bring back to the boil, then lift the octopus out of the water and place directly in a large roasting tin.
  2. Pour on the wine and olive oil, and add about 1 litre water to the roasting tin. Scatter the thyme sprigs, parsley stalks, bay leaves and peppercorns over the octopus. Cover the tin securely with foil and cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 1½ hours. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. While the octopus is cooling, prepare the rest of the salad. Put the potatoes in a pan, cover with cold water, add a large pinch of salt and cook over a medium heat until tender when pierced with a small, sharp knife. Drain the potatoes, cut into quarters and dress with a little extra virgin oil and lemon juice while still warm. Set aside.
  4. Bring a pan of water to the boil and salt it well. Add the cima di rapa leaves and cook for 2 minutes (just 1 minute for spinach). Drain and toss through the potatoes.
  5. For the dressing, put the olives and capers into a bowl, add the parsley, lemon juice to taste, some salt and pepper and a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine.
  6. To serve, drain the octopus, cut into manageable pieces and divide among plates. Pile the potatoes and cima alongside and spoon over the dressing. Serve with lemon wedges.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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