This is one of the most popular dishes served in restaurants and konobe (traditional Croatian eateries) along the Adriatic coast. It's the perfect light and fresh start to a meal, especially on a warm summer day.
Pan-Seared Octopus with Italian Vegetable Salad
"Octopus is on a wave of coolness," says Jon Shook. "It's the new L.A. protein." Vinny Dotolo describes this salad's genesis: "I originally wanted to do an octopus sandwich, with the flavors of an Italian sub, but the bread got in the way." Now he sears the octopus, braises it in white wine until tender and tosses it with chickpeas and a tangy mix of marinated carrots, fennel and celery.
Grilled Octopus with Ancho Chile Sauce
Tom Colicchio was inspired by the smoky flavors of Mexico while filming season 12 of Top Chef. He incorporated many of those elements into the menu at his new restaurant, Beachcraft, at the 1 Hotel in Miami Beach. In this dish, the octopus is first braised in sherry and then the skin is removed to make it extra-tender before it's finished on the grill and glazed with a tangy ancho chile sauce.
Octopus Turnovers with Spicy Creole Mayonnaise
Octopus can be tough, but it becomes amazingly tender when it's cooked for a long time. It's quite delicious in Jose Enrique's addictive pastries.
Octopus Salad with Potatoes and Green Beans
When octopus is slowly simmered, it becomes delicate and tender. Tossed in a salad with potatoes and green beans, then dressed with garlic and parsley, it makes for a very lovely and satisfying dish.
Octopus with Black Bean-Pear Sauce
Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert is a master at weaving together unexpected ingredients, like this tender charred octopus with a sauce of salty fermented black beans and sweet pear. Finding a wine pairing for such a complex dish, however, is a challenge. "It needs a very aromatic wine, just to stand up to all the flavors," says wine director Aldo Sohm.
Red Wine-Braised Baby Octopus with Black Olives
Gently braised in red wine until tender, this octopus is simmered in a rich, robust sauce that would be wonderful with a chewy, mouth-filling red wine.
Grilled Baby Octopus with Roasted Peppers and Potatoes
Antonio Gianola, the former wine director at Catalan in Houston, will open his own wine bar, Wild Vine, this spring, focusing on super-traditional European wines. One of his favorites is the R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva rose from the Rioja region of Spain, aged for years in oak barrels. Even the 2000 vintage--ancient for a rose--is still lively enough for charred octopus with silky roasted peppers. Inspired by a recipe in Wine Bar Food by Tony and Cathy Mantuano, Gianola poaches the octopus slowly before grilling it until crisp.
Crispy Octopus and Potatoes
Using high-quality canned octopus lets you skip braising and get straight to perfectly tender octopus for this quick and delicious dish from Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple. We love the Ramon Pena brand, especially the paprika variety for extra depth of flavor.