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Grilled Octopus with Pepper and Olive Salad
Chef Jim Botsacos of Molyvos – New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 10 - 12 Servings


  • 2 gallons of water
  • 4 lemons, cut in half and squeezed
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 whole octopi, 2 pounds each (cleaned by your fish monger)

  • Marinade:
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 ounces white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry Greek oregano
  • Juice of 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
  • 1 red pepper, grilled or broiled, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, grilled or broiled, seeded and diced
  • ¾ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry Greek oregano
  • Juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
For octopus:
Combine all the ingredients in a large pot, except the octopus. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Holding the head of the octopus with tongs, dunk it into boiling water 3 times, leaving the octopus submerged for 3-5 seconds each time. This is called ‘scaring’ the octopus (the tentacles will curl up as you plunge the octopus in the boiling water). Repeat with remaining octopus.

Place both octopi in the pot and cook 20 minutes, or until tender. Remove them from the liquid and cool on a tray.

For marinade:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or dish fitted with a cover. Cut the blanched octopus in half and place it in the marinade. Turn to coat, cover and refrigerate overnight.

For salad:
Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

To serve:
Grill octopus on a standard gas grill over medium heat, or broil on a rack in the middle of the oven, for 4-5 minutes per side. Cut octopus into medium-sized pieces. Place a small amount of salad in center of plate. Set 3-4 pieces of octopus on top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with caper berries and pea shoots.

Wine pairing:
A crisp Mediterranean white such as the Valminor Albariño 2003

Published: August 2004