Lighten up the dinner table with something quick and different, courtesy of Delio Susi. The Italian chef offers a from-the-sea salad featuring warm grilled octopus with buttery baby potatoes, brightened by fresh lemon and parsley. The octopus cooks to tender then gets a hot pepper and olive oil marinade before hitting the grill. Says Susi, “I love this simple dish, and my family loves it all year round but especially come spring.”
- 10 quarts of water
- 10 whole black pepper corns
- 1 wine cork (must be real cork)
- 3 ounces salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 ounces white vinegar
- 1 medium-sized octopus (about 4 pounds)
- 1 parsley sprig
- 1 lemon, scrubbed
- 6 Yukon baby potatoes
- 1/2 cup E.V.O.O.
- 1 ounce red pepper flakes, passed through a coffee grinder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add the peppercorns, cork, salt, bay leaves and white vinegar. Dip the octopus into the pot three times releasing it into the pot the final time. Cover and cook for about 50 minutes or until fork tender.
- Place the octopus on a cooking sheet and cover it with a bowl for about 20 minutes. (This will serve to steep the octopus slowly.) Rough chop the parsley and cut the lemon into 1-inch wedges.
- Fill a small pot with cold water, a pinch of salt and the potatoes. Once the pot comes to rolling boil, check the potatoes for fork tenderness (about 10 minutes), then drain and cool. Cut the baby potatoes in quarters and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper and hot pepper flakes. Cut and section the octopus by leg quarters and place them in the olive oil marinade, then onto the grill to char. After the octopus is grilled, cut the legs into 1-inch round wheels.
- Combine in a bowl the grilled octopus, potatoes, parsley, remaining olive oil, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste and lemon wedges. Mix and serve warm, garnished with parsley.