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Grilled Octopus Salad

By Tim Reardon From Moveable Feast Season 3, Ep.4
Scott Phillips and Colin Clark

Servings: 4 as an appetizer

The braised octopus can be made up to one day ahead and refrigerated. Bring it to room temperature before grilling.


For the octopus

  • 1-1/2 octopus, cleaned, heads and tentacles separated
  • 1 quart light olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 small unpeeled onions, quartered
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. fennel seed
  • 2 tsp. coriander seed
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

For the garlic Greek yogurt

  • 1 cup plain whole milk Chobani Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup spring garlic, white and edible green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

For the Calabrian chili vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from about 1 large orange)
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
  • 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped shallot
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp. Calabrian red chili sauce (found at specialty food shops or Italian grocers)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad

  • 3 oz. baby arugula
  • 3-4 fingerling potatoes, boiled until tender, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1/2 cup fresh fava beans, blanched and shocked, skins removed
  • 1/2 cup roasted red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Make the octopus

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 200°F.
  • Bring a 6-quart pot of well-salted water (it should be salty like the sea) to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the octopus, wait until the water returns to a simmer, remove octopus from the water with tongs and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat this process twice, using the same water.
  • Place the octopus in a Dutch oven. Add the oil, garlic, onions, and salt. Tie the fennel, coriander, pepper, bay leaf, and pepper flakes into a cheesecloth pouch. Add the spice bundle to the Dutch oven. Cover and bake until the octopus is fork tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Let the octopus cool to room temperature, covered, in the oil. Remove octopus from the oil.

Make the yogurt sauce

  • Put the yogurt in a medium bowl and set aside. Bring a small pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the spring garlic and parsley and blanch for 30seconds. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and shock in an ice bath. When cold, remove from the ice bath and squeeze out the excess water. Add the greens, oil, and salt to a to a blender and blend until smooth. Fold the purée into the yogurt until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Make the vinaigrette

  • Combine the juices, vinegar, shallot, oregano, chili sauce, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the oil in a steady stream until the mixture emulsifies. Set aside.

Make the salad

  • Combine the arugula, potatoes, beans, and red pepper in a large bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to evenly coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve

  • Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire. Lightly oil the grill. Grill the octopus tentacles and heads until lightly charred and crispy on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the grill. When the octopus is cool to the touch, slice the arms into 3- to 4-inch pieces and the heads into halves or quarters. Set aside.
  • Spread the yogurt mixture equally in the center of the four plates. Divide the salad among the plates, placing it in a mound on top of the yogurt.
  • Divide the grilled octopus among the plates. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the octopus, and serve.


If you can’t find spring garlic, substitute white part of 1 medium leek and 1 clove elephant garlic.

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