Carey’s baby octopus salad

Carey’s baby octopus salad

By
From
Little Italy
Serves
8
Photographer
Jacqui Melville

I learnt the recipe for this tangy, crunchy salad from my beloved mentor Carey Terranova. Be sure not to overcook the octopus — you want a lovely soft texture. This will keep in the fridge for up to a week as long as it’s submerged in the marinade.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 litre vegetable stock
1 1/4kg baby octopus, cleaned and beaks removed
350ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
75ml red wine vinegar
75ml white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 sprigs oregano, leaves removed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
1 lemon, finely zested
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, to serve
lemon wedges, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Bring the vegetable stock to the boil in a saucepan. Add the octopus, return to the boil and cook for 10–12 minutes or until tender.
  2. Drain and transfer the warm octopus to a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add the oil, vinegars, garlic, chilli, red onion, carrot, celery, both types of oregano, fennel seeds, bay leaf, lemon zest and seasoning. Stir well to combine, making sure the octopus is completely submerged in the pickling liquid. Add more olive oil if you need to. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours. When you are ready to serve, stir through the parsley.
  3. Serve spoonfuls of the salad on 8 dishes, with a few toothpicks alongside and lemon wedges, if you want.
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