The third of 4 Greek recipes may not suit every reader, but read on - even without the octopus, this would be a great salad. I had actually chosen another salad for the dinner (which we'll save for the future), but my plans changed when I showed Jeff the recipes I was planning. You see, Vefa's Kitchen has throughout it spreads with photos of the recipes. The image opposite the salad I'd chosen was this one. Jeff pointed at it and said it would look more interesting on my blog (which means it would also taste better in his stomach). I scanned the ingredient list and the only challenge would be the star of the show: baby octopus. But we already had plans to head to Whole Foods the next morning so I said we'd check. As this proves, Whole Foods did indeed have fresh cleaned baby octopus.
It's a great recipe - bold flavors, a nice combination of textures, not too heavy, but a substantial first course. If the octopus scare you off, try the salad without or use some broiled shrimp instead.
Potato salad with octopus
adapted from Vefa's Kitchen
1/2 lb. baby octopus, cleaned
2 yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 ripe avocado
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small bunch baby arugula
1 scallion, thinly sliced
For the marinade:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 Tbsp. fresh squezzed lemon juice
1 red chile, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
For the tomato dressing:
1 ripe vine tomato, cubed
1 Tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
2 tsp. minced red onion
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Rinse the octopuses and cut them in half (unless they are very small). In a bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients then add the octopus. Mix to coat; cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain and let cool slightly, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with pepper.
Preheat the broiler. Drain the octopuses and broil them on a baking sheet until the legs curl and the bodies are cooke through, turning them once or twice. It should take about 5 minutes.
While the octopuses cook, arrange the arugula on a platter, place the potatoes over the top. Then cut the avocado into bite-sized pieces and arrange among the potatoes. Drizzle with the lemon juice. Sprinkle the sscallions over the salad.
Remove the octopuses from the oven and arrange them over the top of the salad. Spoon the dressing over the platter and then sprinkle with a bit of coarse sea salt. Serve immediately.