Friday 14 August 2015

Octopus salad with pomegranate seeds, olives and celery

20 minutes to prepare Serves 4



Pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe

Pomegranates are fruits originating in the Middle East, very common nowadays in all countries of Mediterranean coast.
Symbol of beauty and fertility, pomegranates would rather be a fruit rich in calories and carbohydrates: about 63 kcal per 100 grams, with almost 16% of sugars. However, a medium size fruit provides only 70 kcal, since the edible portion is usually half of the overall weight.
If you add to this that deseeding them feels like a puzzle game in which most of the seeds end up crushed or flying across the room, the result is often a poor overall nutritional value of this fruit (combined with a compulsory do-the-mopping-Cinderella afterwards).

Fears aside, for the sake of our legendary sweet tooth, we will employ it today to dampen the strong taste of octopus, in a tasty salad which will open your stomachs fatigued from the heat.
Healthy, good and colorful ... what can you possibly want more?

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

1 kg octopus
1 pomegranate
1 carrot
1 onion
10 radishes
2 branches celery
2 bay leaves
1 sprig parsley
12 pitted black olives
1/2 lemon juice
EVO oil
salt and pepper


  1. Pour 500 ml of water in a large pot and add cleaned carrot and onion, bay leaves, 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. Meanwhile, wash celery and radishes under running water and cut both vegetables into rounds. Deseed the pomegranate in a bowl. Keep everything aside
  4. Prepare the pomegranate citronette: collect a few drops of pomegranate juice in a bowl, add the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of EVO oil. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper and stir to mix
  5. 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. Let octopus to cool down in the cooking water
  6. 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
  7. Place the octopus in a large bowl bowl together with the vegetables, the olives and chopped parsley. Pour the citronette and toss gently to mix and coat well. Add salt and grind some more pepper, if necessary. Top with pomegranate seeds and bring to the table!

    In the following, Nutrition Facts of this dish are indicated. Data is provided per serving.
      I think I was smart, until I had to figure out how to eat a pomegranate.

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