Salads Stefano Faita

grilled octopus salad

By In The Kitchen With Stefano Faita


Braising Liquid
1 octopus, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds, cleaned, ink sac removed
2 cups dry white wine or red wine
2 large shallots, rough chop
1 stalk celery, chunked
1 medium large carrot, chunked
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. toasted fennel seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Olive oil, as needed
1 to 2 lemons, as needed
4 handfuls arugula
1/2 small bulb fennel, sliced
1/2 small red onion, sliced
12 mini potatoes, boiled
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges, for serving


Lay out octopus on a large cutting board. Cut off head just above tentacles, and remove ink sac, innards and outer skin. Turn cluster of tentacles over (inside out) and, squeezing the center, push out beak. Discard ink sac, innards, outer skin and beak. Rinse both head and body under cold water.

Add wine, shallot, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, fennel seeds and salt and pepper to large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add octopus. Cover. Cook until tender, about 1 hour, flipping octopus halfway during the cooking time.

When octopus is tender, remove from braising liquid, cut and separate the tentacles. Strain braising liquid through a fine sieve into a skillet. Reduce until syrupy, about 10 minutes.

Preheat grill to high. Clean and oil grill.

Season octopus with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice.

Grill octopus until charred, turning and brushing with reduced braising liquid, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve over bed of arugula with slices of fennel, red onion and mini potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and lemon juice, to taste. Serve with lemon wedges.

Yield: 4 servings.