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GRILLED OCTOPUS SALAD

Ingredients

  • 1- 4 to 5 lb. whole octopus, uncooked, thawed and rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 stalk celery, halved lengthwise and shaved
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
  • 10 heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup Greek olives, rough chop
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
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As I am perfecting my Feast of the Seven Fishes blog, I just knew it would not be complete without a Grilled Octopus Salad. Honestly, I am elated by the results. Tender octopus was given a slight smokey flavor from grilling. After, the combination of fresh, crisp vegetables and a light and bright salad dressing sent this seafood salad recipe over the moon.

a white bowl of Grilled Octopus Salad

CAN YOU EAT OCTOPUS?

YES! Octopuses are edible, and incredibly delicious. When prepared correctly, octopus is safe to devour. However, ingesting raw octopus has the potential of making you ill. Having said this, in certain cuisines, you will find dishes made with raw octopus. Raw octopus is incredibly popular in Japan and The Mediterranean.

The only parts of the octopus that are inedible are the beak and insides. If you are purchasing a frozen octopus, it will more than likely be fully cleaned and sans the beak and insides.

For this Grilled Octopus Salad recipe, we will only be utilizing the tentacles. Instead of tossing out the head, use that too if you wish!

WHAT DOES OCTOPUS TASTE LIKE?

Honestly, the taste of an octopus will greatly depend on the preparation. The flavor of this unique seafood is not distinct. So, it will take on the flavors of marinades, sauces and dressings.

The texture of octopus will also vary greatly depending on the cooking technique. Once properly cooked, the texture of octopus will be quite similar to that of lobster. Chewy octopus is a sign that it has been overcooked. Slimy octopus should be discarded.

HOW TO PROPERLY BOIL OCTOPUS FOR TENDERNESS

Admittedly, prior to this, I had never even attempted to prepare octopus. However, I knew I wanted to start with an octopus that was already cleaned. There was absolutely no way I was going to “butcher” my own. After watching numerous episodes of Food Network, I knew I would need to boil it to achieve that tenderness, I so desired.

Place the octopus in the water by doing a kind of a “dunk and lift” method. You will see the tentacles start to curl up as they hit the hot water. This is what your want. Keep holding the octopus by the head and dunking a few times until you see the tentacles harden a bit and turn a reddish-purple color. Release the octopus into the pot.

HOW TO GRILL OCTOPUS

Basically, the only thing you need to remember, is NOT TOO LONG! The boiled octopus is already fully-cooked and tender. Grilling the octopus is only intended to provide a quick char and smokey flavor. A minute or so, will do the trick!

TIPS ON MAKING THE BEST GRILLED OCTOPUS SALAD

If you want to avoid cooking the octopus yourself (not sure why you would), you can purchase pre-cooked, frozen tentacles. In this case, you would just skip to the grilling part of this recipe. Or, you can even opt out of grilling altogether, if you so desire.

Here are a few additional tips to consider when preparing this incredible Grilled Octopus Salad:

  • knife cuts (see photos below)
  • allow your taste buds to be your guide (do not get hung up on amounts..add more oil, vinegar or salt as you see fit)
  • serve at room temperature for the best flavor
  • leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days
  • allow to come back to room temperature prior to serving

Print
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a white bowl of Grilled Octopus Salad

GRILLED OCTOPUS SALAD


Description

Tender octopus is given a slight smokey flavor from grilling. The combination of fresh, crisp vegetables and a light dressing, created the most perfect Grilled Octopus Salad. It’s easier than you may think to prepare and loads of fun!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 to 5 pound whole octopus, thawed and rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 stalk celery, halved lengthwise and shaved
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
  • 10 heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup Greek olives, rough chop
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add in the kosher salt and bay leaves.
  3. Use the “dunk and lift” technique described in the post to submerge the octopus into the boiling water.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for at least 45 minutes to an hour.
  5. Octopus is done when you can slide a knife or fork through the flesh with little resistance.
  6. Remove the octopus from the water and allow to cool down enough to handle.
  7. Cut off the tentacles and reserve.
  8. Discard the head.
  9. Fire up the grill.
  10. Grill the tentacles whole for just a minute or so to char.
  11. Cut the tentacles into 1″ pieces and reserve.
  12. Combine the remaining ingredients for the salad into a bowl. 
  13. Taste. Feel free to add additional oil, vinegar or salt.
  14. Add in the reserved octopus.
  15. Toss to coat. 
  16. Serve at room temperature.
  17. ENJOY!

Notes

SEE POST FOR TIPS AND NOTES!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving

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I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him. He is known as one of the best skate sharpeners in the world!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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3 Comments

  1. Hi…I have tried to make octopus in the past and it didn’t work out. Your salad looks so good! Did the octopus come out tender? That’s my biggest problem….

  2. Hello Ro! Thank you so very much. Yes. I was nervous, but if you follow my technique it will be super tender. This is one of my favs…can’t wait to make on Christmas Eve! Let me know if you have any other questions and how it turned out!


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