Octopus Salad with Middle Eastern Flavours
I usually make a variety of simple salads using octopus. The following combinations are quite different from one another and reflect the different cuisines from three different Mediterranean cultures. Use the recipe below to prepare your octopus. Then use the cooked octopus in the salad of your choice.
Serves 6–8 people
1 quantity cooked octopus
2 scallions/spring onions, finely
chopped or 1 red onion, finely
1 red or yellow bell pepper/capsicum, cut into fine strips (or use roasted or grilled bell peppers/capsicums)
1 orange, peeled and cut into slices
½ cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
12 fresh mint leaves or 1/4 cup of cilantro/coriander leaves
Simple Salad Dressing
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1/ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
1–2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon whole or ground fennel seeds or cumin seeds or a combination of both
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro/coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Octopus shrinks, so I prefer to buy large tentacles rather than a whole octopus or lots of baby octopuses, but the choice is yours.
70 oz/2 kg octopus tentacles
pinch of salt
Place the octopus tentacles in a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring slowly to the boil, add the salt and allow to simmer for about 5–10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and leave the octopus in the water for an extra 15 minutes to finish cooking.
Drain the octopus and remove any dark skin or large suckers.
Slice the octopus into chunks and place it in a serving bowl ready to be dressed.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked octopus, scallions, bell pepper, orange segments, pomegranate seeds and herbs. Gently mix all of the salad ingredients
In a separate bowl, combine the Simple Salad Dressing ingredients. Drizzle over the salad, toss everything together and serve.