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.
We made this using a frozen 3.5 lb Octopus that originated in Portugal. It had been frozen a year. It still had the eyes and the beak so I presume it wasn't cleaned before being frozen. I discarded the all but the tentacles.
We followed this recipe and the sub recipe for Charred Octopus. We found the octopus was too tender with no mouthfeel and the suckers falling off. Either the octopus or the braising liquid were very fishy. I give it 2 stars because I think if you used a fresh octopus this recipe would be great, but using a frozen one our results were very poor.
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