Thursday, April 4, 2013

Octopus Salad with Arugula and Cranberry Beans

The CC came across the most excellent octopus in the Korean markets in Queens this week so he had to buy some. There were also excellent fresh cranberry beans to be had so naturally he had to buy that too.

The combination of octopus and beans is a classic all across the Mediterranean everywhere from Spain, the French Rivera, Italy, Greece and further.

The recipe is simplicity itself. Braise the octopus until tender. Use the braised liquid to cook the beans in. Make a fine vinaigrette and toss it all together. The CC served it with some fine focaccia on the side.


8 baby octopuses
1 carrot
1 red onion
12 black peppercorns

1/2 cup fresh cranberry beans
1 cup arugula

1 shallot (finely chopped)
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
black pepper


Octopuses come pre-cleaned these days. All you need to do is cut off the head from the tentacles which are joined by the eye. Each octopus will yield two parts.

Cut the carrots and onions coarsely. Add the octopus, carrots, onions and peppercorns with about a cup of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to very low, and let simmer for about 30 minutes till the octopuses are tender.

Pull the octopuses out with tongs and let cool down. Strain the liquid above and reserve.

Add the fresh cranberry beans to the above liquid and bring to a boil. Simmer at low heat until done. Roughly 15 minutes.

Strain and reserve the liquid. (This makes an amazing broth for future use.)

Make a vinaigrette with shallots, olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss everything together and serve.

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