Octopus and potatoes are as classic a pairing as wine and cheese, a perennial Mediterranean dish, but Williamsburg's Osteria il Paiolo gives them a warm, summery twist. Chef Alex Palumbo skins and cubes the octopus, then mixes it with the potatoes so it looks just like a cold chicken salad, the kind you'd have on a hot summer day.
1 octopus (roughly 5 pounds)
1 Spanish onion, quartered
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
6 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 quart white wine
3 quarts cold water
2 waxy potatoes
1 shallot, sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot, add octopus, onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, pepper, wine, and water (making sure to cover octopus by at least two inches). Simmer over medium heat until octopus is tender, about 1 hour. Strain octopus and allow to cool to room temperature.
Remove skin and cut into squares.
To Assemble and Serve:
In a medium saucepan, cover potatoes with water and bring to boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until tender, then dice into large squares. Sautée Octopus with potatoes, and toss with shallots, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper to taste. Finish with parsley.