Grilled octopus with peppers & aubergine

Grilled octopus with peppers & aubergine

Pintxo

By
From
Basque
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Laura Edwards

I always get asked how to cook tender octopus. Of course the important thing is always to buy good-quality octopus and then cook it properly. I do have a secret, though, and that is to freeze the octopus for a minimum of two days before cooking. This breaks down the fibres and makes it much more delicate.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 bay leaf
8 black peppercorns
400g large fresh octopus tentacles, cleaned, (ask a good fishmonger)
1 aubergine, cut into pieces
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into pieces
1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into pieces
75-100ml olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
large handful parsley

Method

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil with the carrot, onion, celery, bay leaf and peppercorns. Plunge the octopus tentacles into the water and simmer for 50–60 minutes. Drain and slice on the diagonal into pieces 1 cm thick.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C.
  3. Put the aubergine and peppers in a roasting tin and drizzle with plenty of oil. Season and roast for 30–40 minutes until really tender.
  4. Blanch the parsley in boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunge into a bowl of iced water. Whizz in a processor with the olive oil until you have a lovely green oil. Push through a fine sieve into a bowl. Season and set aside.
  5. Toss the octopus in a little oil. Heat a heavy-based pan or chargrill pan over a high heat and, when really hot, sear the octopus for 2–3 minutes, turning once.
  6. Serve the octopus with the roasted vegetables and a good drizzle of the parsley oil.
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