What’s Lidia Cooking Up Now?


Insalata di Polipo e Patate
(Octopus and Potato Salad)

Chef Lidia Bastianich, TV personality, author and owner of Felidia and Becco - New York, NY, Lidia's Kansas City and Lidia's Pittsburgh
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 6 Servings


  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds octopus, cleaned
  • 1 wine cork
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium Idaho potatoes, whole
  • 5 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 Bermuda onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Place octopus, wine cork, bay leaves, and salt and pepper in a large pot with water. Cover generously and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook the octopus at a vigorous simmer until tender but slightly al dente, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a second pot, cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook about 25 minutes, until just tender. Cool, peel, and cut potatoes them into 1-inch cubes.

Drain the octopus, discarding the bay leaves and cork. Cut the tentacles away where they join the head and, if desired, strip away the skin and suction cups by drawing the tentacles through the bunched fingers of one hand. Clean the octopus head by squeezing out the core with your fingers, and cut the meat into thin slices. Cut the tentacles into 1-inch pieces. Place olive oil, red wine vinegar, onion, and parsley in a large bowl. Add the octopus pieces and warm potatoes and toss to coat completely. Place salad on plates, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

Wine Pairing:
Lidia pairs this dish with Vespa Bianco 2001 – Bastianich, from her son’s winery.

   Published: January 2005