Prep time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Active prep time: 30 minutes
Special equipment needed – None
Special skills needed – None
Serves an appetizer portion for 4 to 6
Since most octopus are sold frozen or refreshed, they are generally available year-round. This cold dish is as good on a hot summer day as it is in the dead of winter. For my family, it always seems to make an appearance around the holidays and it has been a favorite at our annual feast of seven fishes. The crisp citrus flavors are good for a gathering and the lightness of this dish can cut the fattiness of more hearty dishes when served as a side. It presents beautifully, and doesn’t require much skill. Plus, for many dinner guests, an octopus is pretty adventurous. These animals are among the most unique and interesting on earth, so involve the kids and make sure everyone gets a good look at the little monster before you slice it up.
2 Medium carrots
2 Stalks of celery
1 Large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 cups dry white wine
4 cups water
1 octopus (approximately 2 lbs)
¼ Cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Roughly chop the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. Place them in a large stock pot with the white wine and water. Bring to a boil.
Add the octopus and boil for 50 minutes.
Remove from heat and drain. When the octopus is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to slice it as thinly as possible.
Zest the orange and the lemon and set the zest aside. In a large bowl, juice the orange and lemon.
Add the olive oil, zest, salt, and cracked pepper. Whisk these until combined.
Add the sliced octopus and toss until it is coated evenly. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve on a plate and dress it up as much as you like with lemon and orange slices.