Octopus. It’s the ingredient that is everywhere right now; on menus across the world, in all of the food magazines, and of course all over Instagram. It’s also readily available in the UK and a great sustainable option. Some of our favorite octopus dishes so far include The Cinnamon Club in London, Le Criquet in Arles and Raiz in Porto.
But you can’t eat out (or be in Europe’s sunnier cities) every night so we have taken the latest must have ingredient into the Gills kitchen to see what we can rustle up. We came up with a couple dishes, the second one is coming your way soon, but the first one is perfect for the last of these summer days.
From one must have ingredient to another with the use of kohlrabi in our salad. Kohlrabi has also been popping up on menus and recipes and is extremely versatile. It is a great source of fibre, vitamin B6 and potassium and makes a nice change from the traditional salad vegetables (let’s face it we are always looking for ways to liven them up).
Together this salad is fresh, flavoursome and surprisingly filling. This amount of octopus should leave you some to spare for another dish, but it depends on how generous you are feeling to your guests!
It’s not the average thing in your online food shop so here are some tips to make sure you get a decent quality octopus that when cooked correctly will be beautifully tender, rather than rubbery. It goes without saying but try and buy fresh. It will taste better, it will be worth it but yes it will probably be more expensive. If you can’t get to your fishmongers some larger supermarkets should do it (probably frozen so we recommend slightly longer cooking than the recipe below to get it nice and tender).
Now on to the suckers; a double row of suckers along the limbs is meant to signify a tastier, higher quality octopus.
Also it isn’t just the tentacles that you can eat (what a waste if you don’t!). Here we have used the whole octopus – give it a try!
- 1 bulb of fennel
- Small bunch of parsley
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ kohlrabi
- Handful of pink radishes
- Zest 1 lemon
- Tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- 6 basil leaves
- Handful of rocket
- 1 small octopus (ours was 1.2kg)
- First things first you need to cook the octopus. Start by placing in a large saucepan and covering with cold water, season with salt and add a tablespoon of oil. Bring to the boil and then place on a very slow simmer for 1.5 hours.
- It should be extremely tender when you stick a knife in – if it isn’t leave it a little longer. The key here is not to boil it, the water needs to be a very slow simmer. Otherwise the octopus will be tough, and no one likes that.
- Once done remove from the pan and drain the excess water. Leave to cool until ready.
- For the salad finely slice the fennel and kohlrabi as if you are making a chunky slaw. Add the olive oil, juice of one lemon and the red wine vinegar.
- Leave for around 15 minutes to soften the vegetables.
- Finely chop the basil, radish and parsley.
- Add to the salad mixture, along with the rocket.
- Slice the octopus into bite-sized chunks and add to the salad and mix.