Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Octopus & Tomato Salad with Lemon & Orange Vinaigrette

Recipe by Paula.

The Portuguese love their octopus and I think my mom prepares it the best. It is always tender and perfectly seasoned. This salad combines octopus with the bright flavours of tomatoes, citrus and herbs. The quail eggs are an elegant touch but if you can't find them, use regular eggs sliced into quarters. Enjoy!

Serves: 6

3-4 lb octopus, cleaned and beak removed (thawed if frozen)
1 medium onion cut in half
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon sea salt

1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
grated zest of 1 orange
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey (or more if you want it sweeter)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or more if you want it sharper)
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

6 quail eggs
3 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly and soaked in water for 10 minutes
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
3 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Fill a large pot with two thirds full with water and bring to the boil. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and lemon to the water. Using tongs to hold the octopus, dip the octopus into water for 3 seconds then remove, repeat 3 times and then leave octopus in the water in a high simmer for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until tender.

2. Take the pot off the heat and add sea salt. Remove the octopus from the water after 5 minutes. Allow it to cool  down then slice the octopus into pieces.

3. In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, zests, garlic, red pepper flakes, honey, mustard and vinegar. Slowly add the oil while you whisk to incorporate the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. The vinaigrette can be made ahead of time and kept in a jar until needed. Just shake the jar to combine the ingredients before dressing the salad.

4. Fill a small saucepan two thirds full with water and bring to the boil. Gently add the quail eggs and boil for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and cool them down under cold running water. Peel the eggs carefully and cut them in half.

5. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, octopus, onion, parsley and mint. Dress the salad with as much vinaigrette as you like.  Leftover dressing can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the salad garnished with the sliced quail eggs.

1 comment

  1. Love the new look Paula, with the new focus. I am glad you took the leap:-)