Braised octopus with lime, olive and rocket dressing

Braised octopus with lime, olive and rocket dressing

Fish Kitchen
David Loftus

If you have never eaten octopus before, this is a great introduction to the clever creature. Braising the fish until tender, then char-grilling the outside brings out its finest characteristics. Served simply with a lime, green olive and rocket dressing, it’s delicious. I’ll be surprised if you don’t like it… I love it!


Quantity Ingredient
1kg octopus
olive oil, for cooking
1 onion, peeled and chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
100ml white wine
2 thyme sprigs
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Lime, olive and rocket dressing

Quantity Ingredient
200g green olives, pitted
1 lime, finely zested and juiced
large handful rocket leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
handful small rocket leaves
1 lime, finely zested
20 green olives, pitted and sliced
extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle


  1. To braise the octopus, heat a pan large enough to hold it, and add a drizzle of oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the octopus, wine and thyme sprigs. Put the lid on and cook gently for 1 hour until the octopus is tender.
  2. Remove the octopus from the pan. When cool enough to handle, slit the main body in half and remove the ink sac, stomach and eyes, then prise out the beak from the middle of the tentacles (similar to cleaning squid before cooking). Cut the tentacles and body into 4 cm pieces and leave to cool.
  3. To make the dressing, blend together the green olives, lime zest and juice, rocket leaves, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning; put to one side.
  4. Heat a char-grill pan on a high heat. When it is hot, toss the octopus in a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place in the hot pan. Cook for 2 minutes, turning once or twice to colour all over.
  5. Divide the dressing between warm plates and lay the octopus pieces on top. Scatter over the lime zest, olives and rocket leaves. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.
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