Galacian Octopus Salad

Never judge a book by its cover, eh? Getting past our superficial notions of beauty allows our palettes to experience the gorgeous flavor of this erstwhile Spanish salad. Frozen octopus is often preferred; the process of freezing and thawing tenderizes this notoriously tough flesh.

Begin with the octopus, for our purposes here, a specimen weighing around 3 pounds. Rinse under cold water then add to a large pot of boiling water - 4 quarts of water mixed with 4 T. coarse sea salt. Take a long fork - or tongs - and dip the octopus into the boiling water. Remove immediately. When the water returns to a boil, do this again. And then again, 3 or 4 times until the tentacles curl up. This is essential for a tender and succulent outcome. Now submerge the octopus in boiling water and cook over medium-high heat for two hours, uncovered. Keep testing the meat to see if it's tender - it should be easily cut with a knife. Turn off the heat and let the octopus rest in the hot water for 10 minutes. Remove and cut into small pieces with scissors. Drain well and toss with 1 peeled and seeded tomato and 1 small green bell pepper, chopped into a fine dice. Season with salt, black pepper and toss with your favorite vinaigrette. Serve slightly chilled with crusty bread.


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