Grilled Baby Octopus with Piperade, Preserved Lemons, and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Adapted by
April 2008
Yield: 6 Servings


Baby Octopus
2 pounds tenderized baby octopus
2 bottles Red wine
1 large onion, diced
2 bay leaves
1 stick cinnamon
juice of 2 lemons
1 ounce chopped oregano
1 cup Spanish extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 red bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
½ cup Spanish extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ white onion, julienned
1 bay leaf
sea salt
Fingerling Potatoes
1 pound fingerling potatoes, washed and scrubbed
2 bay leaves
2 quarts duck fat
To Assemble and Serve
basil leaves, julienned
Preserved lemon, julienned
2 Tablespoons duck fat
extra virgin olive oil


For the Baby Octopus:

Cut heads from tentacles. Cut heads in half; remove any debris and beaks. Cut tentacles into 4 pieces each. Rinse all octopus in cold water until water runs clear. Put wine, onion, bay leaves, cinnamon, and octopus in a heavy-bottom pot. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until octopus is tender. Remove octopus from poaching liquid and rinse under cold water. Gently peel off octopus skin being careful not to tear the tentacles. Place cleaned octopus in a bowl and add lemon juice, oregano, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss until octopus is coated in marinade. Cover and marinate for at least 15 to 20 minutes; set aside in refrigerator until ready to grill.

For the Piperade:

Roast peppers; then remove stems and seeds, and peel and julienne. Place a sauce pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, and onion. Sweat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently and being careful not to brown onions and garlic. Add peppers and bay leaf. Cover with a piece of cut-out parchment paper and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, until onions are soft and flavors are mingled. Season with sea salt to taste. Set aside.

For the Fingerling Potatoes:

Put potatoes, bay leaves, and duck fat in a pot turn the heat to medium. Cook until potatoes are fork tender. Remove from fat immediately and cool in refrigerator.

To Assemble and Serve:

Heat a grill; cook marinated octopus until lightly charred. Heat piperade in a small sauté pan, and add a large pinch of basil and preserved lemon. Slice fingerling potatoes. In a separate pan, heat duck fat; add potato slices and roast until golden brown. Place potatoes on a plate, add grilled octopus, and then top with piperade. Garnish with basil and a good drizzle of olive oil.