Light, summery octopus salad with potatoes
After my first successful experiment with the grilled octopus over grilled vegetables, I decided to try one more recipe with this mollusk. This time, when I went to the fish market (I like to go to the Santa Monica Seafood Market) I found frozen baby octopus. I was very excited about it. These sound perfect in a salad with potatoes, just like the one my mom makes!
Octopus is a great choice for a seafood dinner: it's low in fat, rich in minerals like calcium, potassium and phosphorus, and great source of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acid. Perfect, right? And baby octopus have a more tender meat, and cook in no time.
The only problem I had: as soon a I defrosted the baby octopus, I noticed that they were not completely clean. No ink sack, but the eyes were still there, and the heads were not empty. Ugh! After a quick on-line search, I found several sites that explain how to clean octopus. It's not really hard: just cut out the eyes with a sharp knife, remove the beak and the stuff inside the head. But it can really be time consuming. Cleaning 2 pounds of tiny octopus took me a long time! Here is one link that I looked at on eHow.
What I learned from this link is also that baby octopus are not actually babies... phew! They are adults of a specie of octopus that don't grow very much. This really made me feel better :)
Here is the recipe for this light, summery seafood salad, perfect for a cozy family dinner!
Ingredients: about 4 servings
- 2 lb of baby octopus
- 4 medium size potatoes, about 5 oz each
- a bunch of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- extra virgin olive oil
Preparation time: About 40 minutes...plus the time to clean the octopus :( if needed
Step 1: Wash and scrub the potatoes under running water. Place in a large pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer covered until fully cooked. For my potatoes, it took about 30 minutes. For smaller potatoes about 20 minutes, and 40 or so minutes for larger ones. Test with a fork to make sure the inside is fully cooked.
Step 2: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Clean the octopus if necessary, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. My baby octopus were really small, so they cooked in no time!
For larger octopus, the boiling time should be about 20 minutes for every pound. Check again with a fork for tenderness. And let the octopus cool down in the water while you wait for the potatoes. This should make the meat extra tender!
Step 3: Slice each potato in half, remove the skin (should be very easy) and cut in large cubes.
In a large serving bowl, add the sliced garlic cloves, the chopped parsley and a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Serve warm. Enjoy!