The slightly smoky seafood aromas of charred octopus make it a perfect partner for the flavors of a classic Niçoise salad.
Heat the oven to 400°F. Toss the potatoes with enough oil to coat. Season well with salt, and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, flipping once, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with ice water. Bring a medium saucepan of well-salted water to a boil. Add the beans, and boil until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the ice water to cool. Drain and pat dry with paper towel.
Toss the tomatoes with 1 tsp. salt. Press the yolks through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl.
In a large bowl, gently toss the octopus, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumber with the mint, vinegar, and the 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, dot serving plates with the caramel or tapenade. Divide the salad among the plates and serve sprinkled with the egg yolk and topped with whole fresh mint leaves.
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