Friday 10 April 2015

Warm salad of octopus and potatoes with parsley dressing

20 minutes to prepare Serves 4



'O pùrpë së còcë cu ll'acqua sója

Warm salads of octopus are spread along all the Mediterranean basin, as in this sea octopus is caught (and eaten) a lot.
Great qualities of this mollusk are its reduced caloric intake and its high satiating capability. Moreover, octopus is so tasty you do not need to add much more to nurture its flavor; it is traditionally seasoned just with a little olive oil, lemon, vinegar, spices and herbs.

This salad combines octopus with potatoes and enriches both ingredients' taste with a slightly sour dressing made of EVO oil, parsley and vinegar. You can choose to serve this dish slightly warm in winter or cool in summer, compulsorily accompanied by an excellent white wine. I personally love Müller Thurgau from Trentino.

Here's what you will need for the 4-serving recipe:

1 kg octopus
1 carrot
1 onion
1 branch celery
1 bay leaf
1 kg small potatoes
1 sprig parsley
1 slice sandwich loaf (without crust) 
1/2 lemon juice
EVO oil
red wine vinegar
salt and pepper


  1. Pour 500 ml of water in a large pot and add cleaned vegetables (carrot, celery, onion), bay leaf, and salt. Bring to boil 
  2. As soon as the water boils, immerse the octopus and, lowering the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid. Let it cook for about 40 minutes (20 minutes for each 500 grams of octopus), for 20 minutes if you use a pressure cooker
  3. Wash and brush well the potatoes
  4. After 25 minutes (15 minutes in case of pressure cooker), check octopus' readiness by skewering it with a fork, in the point where its tentacles are connected to the head: if the fork enters it easily, the octopus is al dente. Dip unpeeled potatoes in the pot with the octopus, and go on with the cooking for about 15 minutes
  5. Let octopus and vegetables to cool down in the cooking water
  6. Prepare the parsley dressing: put in the mixer parsley with lemon juice, sandwich loaf, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 4 tablespoons of EVO oil. Blend it until you obtain a thick and shiny sauce. Season it with salt (taste, I recommend it, taste!) and set aside
  7. Remove the octopus from the water, and put it on a cutting board. Remove excess skin and cut the tentacles just below their junction to the body. We want to obtain pieces about 3-cm long, with a nice curl at the end of each tentacle
  8. Peel potatoes and cut them into slices (about 1 cm thick)
  9. Put octopus and potatoes in a large bowl and season everything with the parsley dressing. Grind some more pepper on top, and then bring it to the table 

      In the following, Nutrition Facts of this dish are indicated. Data is provided per serving.

      Octopus gets cooked in its own water. The proof of the pudding.