Sensational as an appetizer, this octopus salad is easily pumped up into a main dish. It’s fresh, fragrant, exotic and super easy to prepare. Truly. Trust me. Go get yourself an octopus, freeze it, and get this salad underway.
Octopus Salad, as an Appetizer or a Main Dish
Since learning how to cook octopus last summer, it’s become a staple ingredient in our freezer. It’s truly a great thing when you look in the fridge, realise you’ve got nothing to cook, and then suddenly remember there’s an octopus waiting to be boiled. From ‘nothing-to-cook’ to gourmet, in the time it takes to boil a pot of water and cook the octopus. Which takes 40 minutes.
If you have an emergency bag of frozen cauliflower florets, so much the better. A lemon, a few fresh herbs from your balcony pot, extra virgin olive oil, and you’re done. This octopus salad, if made with a good sized octopus – around 1 kilo/2 pounds – will serve 6 as appetizer or 4 as a main dish, more or less. If you’re eating in two, as we do normally, then avoid boredom by serving it as a simple and elegant appetizer on the first day, then as main dish salad on the second. Simply add a good serving of avocado and a few handfuls of salad leaves, and you’ve got your protein, fat and greens all in the one bowl.
Take it to work. Make your collegues, with their boring sandwiches and pasta salads, as jealous as anything, and spike their curiousity about the Paleo Diet and Lifestyle.
On the Side
How to Cook Octopus in 4 Easy Steps – If you need to be convinced about how easy it is…
Barbecued Sea Bass – And while you’re at it, throw those cooked octopus tendrils onto the hot grill.
Salsa Verde, the Summer Condiment – Wonderful, wonderful, serve it with the octopus!
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Best Wishes, Keep Exploring, Stay Curious.
- 1 large, fresh octopus, cleaned
- 600 grams / 16 ounce cauliflower florets
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- ½ tablespoon coarse sea salt
- ¼ cup bone broth
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- optional: fresh salad leaves
- optional: ripe avocado
- Place the frozen cauliflower into a large pot (4.5 litres / 4 quarts) and fill with water.
- Bring the water to the boil, and keep on the boil for 40 minutes.
- Remove the octopus and allow to cool. Slice into fork-sized pieces.
- Cut the cauliflower florets into small pieces.
- Using a fine vegetable peeler, remove the zest of the lemon, being sure no white pith remains. Using a cooks knife or a half moon knife, mince the zest finely, along with the parsley and thyme. Mix the zest, herbs and salt together, and toss through the cauliflower florets.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a large pan. Add the broth, cover with a lid, and steam-sautè over a medium heat for 6 minutes (8 if using frozen cauliflower). Remove the lid, and continue sautèing until all the liquid has evaporated. Allow to cool.
- Transfer both the octopus and the cauliflower to a large bowl. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil, and toss all to combine.
- If serving as a main dish salad, wash and spin dry the salad leaves. Slice open and cut the avocado into cubes. Pile the green leaves onto a plate. Top with the octopus salad and avocado. Serve with more extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and freshly ground sea salt as desired.