Just a few ingredients result in a smashing summer salad. Charred baby octopuses are the star, supported by hot cherry tomatoes that burst in the mouth. Blistered chili peppers satisfy the craving for hot weather piquancy. It all comes together with a lemony dressing flavored with oregano and garlic. Gorgeous colors, interesting textures, bold flavors. This salad makes a great addition to any summer buffet.
Par-boil the octopodes ahead of time, then this salad can be prepared in just a few minutes on a hot barbecue. A grill basket makes cooking a snap!
Exotic. Smoky. Charred. Lemony.
Charred Baby Octopus Salad Recipe
Place cleaned baby octopuses in a sauce pan and cover with water. Add a splash of white wine and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Cover and bring to a simmer, cooking about 20 minutes until the octopi are fork tender. Remove them with a spider or strainer. Let cool to room temperature.
Place octopodes in a bowl with lemon wheels, baby heirloom tomatoes, chilies (either Thai, Serrano, Jalapeño, Shishito). Coat with olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, salt, pepper. Let marinate while the grill gets hot, then place the medley in a grill basket in a single layer, and cook over high heat, flipping occasionally, until it all starts to char. Serve the hot octopus medley over lightly dressed mixed lettuces. Serve with extra dressing on the side.
Lemon Oregano Dressing
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 1/4 c. lemon juice
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 t. dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients together.
By the way, until writing about this salad, I didn’t know there was such a controversy over the plural of octopus:
So, just for fun, I used them all. In addition, the plural doesn’t sound right for a menu item, hence the post title is singular. What do you think?
Word Origin & History from Dictionary.com here.
1758, genus name of a type of eight-armed cephalopod mollusks, from Gk. oktopous “eight-footed,” from okto “eight” (see eight) + pous “foot.” Proper plural is octopodes, though octopuses probably works better in English. Octopi is from mistaken assumption that -us is the Latin noun ending that takes -i in plural.
In any event, be sure to enjoy charred octopus, octopuses, octopi, or octopodes this summer!