Warning: If you have a weak stomach when it comes to unusual foods, you may want to skip this entry. My mother has been making this salad for as long as I can remember, and it's always been a family favorite. It's just so light and refreshing. For those of you who don't have much experience with octopus- it isn't fishy in flavor at all, so fear not! Last night, my Mother and I teamed up in the kitchen to make this delicious salad!
What you'll need:
2 whole large octopi (can be found at most large farmer's markets)
1/2 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley
10 sticks celery
juice of 2 lemons
salt & pepper, to taste
What to do:
1. Confront your fears. Octopus is friend, not foe!
2. Boil the octopi for about 45 minutes in a large covered pot 3/4 filled with water. If the octopi are extremely large, boil each in a separate pot. The octopus is done when it looks like this:
While the Octopi are cooking:
3. Dice the onion and celery, and combine in a large mixing bowl.
4. Roughly chop the 1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley, and add it to the diced onions and celery. Set aside until the octopi are done cooking.
Once your octopi are done:
5. It's time to clean and break down your octopi! Drain the pot, and pull out each octopus individually. Using a clean pair of kitchen scissors, cut off each tentacle. Then, trim the purple skin if you wish. My mother and I do this because the texture of the skin can be quite jelly-like. Working your way down with the scissors, cut each tentacle into bite-size pieces. You may also use the heads if you wish, but we typically discard them. Place the pieces in the bowl with the chopped vegetables and herbs.
6. Dress with the juice of both lemons and olive oil. The amount of both may vary depending on the size of your octopi, just use your best judgment and taste.
7. Combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste (once again, this is a personal preference).
8. Serve chilled and enjoy!