Octopus with pea, mint and shallot pilaf and Grecian salsa verde


  • Serves 6 people

  • 1 kg large octopus tentacles, cleaned and tenderised (see note)
  • 100 ml sweet vermouth
  • 1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only
  • ¼ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp (firmly packed) thyme, coarsely chopped
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • Pea, mint and shallot pilaf
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 200 gm (1 cup) long-grain rice
  • 310 ml (1¼ cups) hot chicken stock
  • 120 gm (1 cup) frozen peas
  • 50 gm softened butter, coarsely chopped
  • 4 golden shallots, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup (loosely packed) mint, coarsely chopped
  • Grecian salsa verde
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp (firmly packed) each mint and oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, finely grated rind only
01   Combine octopus, vermouth, lemon rind and juice, herbs and chilli in a non-reactive bowl, toss to combine, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to marinate (6 hours-overnight).
02   For pea, mint and shallot pilaf, heat a casserole over medium heat, add oil, onion, garlic, chilli and anchovy and sauté until starting to soften (5-7 minutes). Add rice, stir to coat in oil, add stock, bring to the boil, stir, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is cooked through (10-15 minutes). Meanwhile, blanch peas (1-2 minutes), then refresh, drain and set aside. Remove pilaf from heat, stand for 5 minutes, then stir through butter, shallot, mint and peas and season to taste.
03   Meanwhile, for Grecian salsa verde, combine ingredients in a small bowl, season to taste and set aside.
04   Heat a char-grill over high heat. Remove octopus from marinade (discard marinade). Drizzle octopus with oil, season to taste and grill, turning occasionally, until just cooked through (3-5 minutes). Serve hot with pilaf and salsa verde.
Note To tenderise octopus, pound tentacles with a meat mallet until they no longer feel bouncy.

This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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