Baby Octopus with Charred Pepper Vinaigrette, English Peas, Radish, and Croutons

Adapted by
October 2009
Yield: 1 Serving


Braised Octopus
1½ -pound baby octopus
3 tablespoons salt
1 shallot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
Peel of ¼ lemon, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
Charred Pepper Vinaigrette
10 Anaheim peppers
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
½ tablespoon chopped lemon zest
½ tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sourdough bread, cut into ½-inch by 3-inch batons
olive oil
2 tablespoons clarified butter
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fines herbs
Peas and Radishes
½ tablespoon shallots
2 tablespoons peas
3 French breakfast radishes, halved
1 tablespoon butter
2 ounces court bouillon
salt and pepper
To Assemble and Serve
1 tablespoon chopped fines herbs


For the Braised Octopus

Marinate the octopus in salt for 30 minutes. Sauté the shallot, garlic, lemon, jalapeño, and thyme in the olive oil. Reduce the heat and add the octopus. Cook for 1½ hours or until tender. Remove the octopus and strain the liquid, skimming off any oil. Return the octopus to the liquid and let cool. 

For the Charred Pepper Vinaigrette

Char the peppers on a grill until the skins blister. Put the peppers in a bowl and cover until the skins separate from the flesh. Clean and reserve half of the seeds. Combine the crème fraiche, lemon zest, rosemary, and mint in a blender. Pulse while drizzling in the olive oil. Season and add the seeds to the vinaigrette.

For the Croutons

Toss the bread in the olive oil. Toast the bread in the clarified butter. Remove from the heat and season with the salt, pepper, and fines herbes.

For the Peas and Radishes

Sauté the shallots, peas, and radishes in the butter for a minute, and then add the court bouillon. Season and cook until the vegetables are tender and the liquid reduced and saucy.

To Assemble and Serve

In a small black cast iron pan, lay down a crouton and top with the octopus. Arrange the peas and radishes next to the octopus and drizzle with the charred red pepper vinaigrette. Garnish with the fines herbes.