Mediterranean Octopus, Romesco, Gigante Lima Beans, and Salsa Verde

Adapted by
November 2013
Yield: 4 servings


Mediterranean Octopus
1 whole Mediterranean octopus
1 bottle Chenin blanc
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
4 dried red chile
4 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 wine cork
Gigante Lima Beans
1 cup dried gigante lima bean
1 ounce butter
4 shallots, diced
4 tablespoons chopped thyme
1 cup lobster stock
½ cup olive oil
1½ cups raw almonds
1 cup day old bread, cut into large chunks
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
1 head garlic, cloves peeled
1 bunch oregano, leaves picked
3 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tomato, roasted until charred and blistered
6 red bell peppers, roasted until charred and peeled
1 large onion, roasted until charred and peeled
1 Italian frying pepper, roasted until charred and peeled
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
4 tablespoons pimento picante
Green Sauce
1 head garlic, cloves peeled
8 oil packed anchovies
4 tablespoons capers, drained
1 dried red chile, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
Zest of 1 lemon, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 bunch curly parsley, cut chiffonade
bunch flat leaf parsley, cut chiffonade
tarragon, cut chiffonade
1 handful mint leaves, cut chiffonade
1 handful dill, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
To Assemble and Serve
cooking oil
1 ounce butter


For the Mediterranean Octopus:
Heat oven to 325°F. Combine the octopus, wine, onion, carrots, fennel, fennel seeds, coriander, chile, bay leaf, peppercorns, and wine cork in a Dutch oven or a heavy pot with a lid, making sure octopus is covered in liquid so as to just peek out of the wine. Adjust with water if necessary. Cover and place in oven. Check after 2 hours. Octopus should be supple but still a little bouncy to the touch. Remove from oven and cool in the broth. Once cool, gently lift octopus from the pot and portion by removing the legs at their base. Then remove the hollow cap or head from the body and scoop out the inside. Discard innards, remove the beak from the remaining body and slice into 2 pieces.

For the Gigante Lima Beans:
Bring a pot of water to a simmer and add the lima beans. Check regularly and drain when the beans are completely cooked but not falling apart. Season with salt. Melt butter in a large pan. Add shallots and thyme when the butter is foaming. Stir in the beans and add lobster stock. Reduce stock while occasionally tossing the beans.

For the Romesco:
Warm olive oil over medium heat. Add almonds and bread and fry slowly, stirring occasionally until bread is golden brown. Add lemon zest, orange zest, garlic, oregano, and coriander seeds and continue to slowly fry until the mixture is aromatic and the oregano crispy. Remove from heat. Place almond mixture in blender and pulse until chunky. Remove half of nut mixture and put aside. Add the tomato, bell pepper, onion, and Italian pepper, and ½ cup warm water to blender and purée. Add more water if necessary. Add Sherry vinegar and pimento picante and blend again. Season with salt. In a bowl, combine reserved nut mixture with blender contents; season with salt and Sherry vinegar.

For the Green Sauce:
In a mortar and pestle, make a paste of garlic, anchovy, and capers, adding a little salt if necessary. Add mixture to a bowl and stir in chile, mustard, lemon zest, and vinegar. Stir in the herbs and olive oil. Set aside for the flavors to marry.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat a pan with cooking oil and sear the pieces of Mediterranean Octopus at a high heat until brown on all sides. Remove the pan from the heat and mount the Gigante Lima Beans with the butter. Place a spoonful of Romesco on the bottom of each plate. Spoon the Gigante Lima Beans onto the Romesco. Place a piece of Mediterranean Octopus onto the beans. Glaze each portion of octopus with the Green Sauce, allowing it to mingle with the beans.