Grilled Octopus, Greek Style
I used small octopus for this recipe, but it works just as well with larger ones, too. If you use a big octo, you will need to braise it longer, and you will want to cut it into chunks when you are ready to grill. Octopus is readily available at both Asian and Latin markets. There is no easy substitute for octopus, although squid will get you close.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 4 people
- 2 pounds octopus
- 3 to 4 bunches of herbs such as parsley, oregano, fennel fronds and green onions
- 4 to 6 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 chopped fresh hot chile, or 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
- Fine olive oil, black pepper and lemon wedges for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the octopus for 90 seconds. Remove the octopus and let it drain on a colander.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300°F. Line the bottom of a brazier, a Dutch oven or other large, ovenproof pot with the herbs and bay leaves. Lay the octopus on the nest of herbs, cover the pot and cook in the oven until tender, which will be somewhere between 90 minutes for small octopus to 4 hours for a really gigantic one. Two hours is about normal.
When the octopus is tender, cut it into chunks. Leave small octopi whole. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and chile and marinate the octopus in this for at least 1 hour, and as much as a day or two.
To finish, get your grill blazing hot. Make sure the grill grates are clean. Grill the octopus over high heat until you get a little bit of charring here and there; they're already cooked, so you are just adding flavor. Drizzle your grilled octopus with really good olive oil, grind some black pepper over them and serve with a wedge of lemon -- and a shot of ouzo.
You can marinate your octopus for as long as a day or two beforehand and they will still taste fine. You can also braise on one day and grill on another. Once they've been braised, the octopi will keep a few days in the fridge. You also can serve this hot or at room temperature, so it really is a perfect make-ahead appetizer. For another great octopus recipe, check out my Spanish pulpo gallego.
Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 523mg | Potassium: 825mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 383IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 160mg | Iron: 13mg