Chef Jim Botsacos, of ‘Molyvos’ restaurant in NY complements his version of this popular island meze with a salad of slightly bitter greens and sweet grilled peppers.
2 lb octopus cleaned, fresh or frozen
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup red wine
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or freshly ground black pepper
If using fresh octopus, wash it well and place in a large nonreactive pot. (The octopus releases water as it cooks, so there is no need to add any.)
Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the octopus changes color and curls up. If using frozen octopus, place it in the pot directly from the freezer and cook over low heat, turning frequently, until it curls up. Increase the heat to high and cook to evaporate most of the liquid. Let cool. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or baking dish. Cut and separate the eight legs of the blanched octopus, place in the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight and up to 3 days. Drain the octopus and pat dry. Cook the marinade over medium–high heat, until reduced to 1 cup. Grill (or broil) octopus for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Cut into bite-sized pieces and drizzle with the reduced marinade.