Rosaria Ferrara’s Insalata di Polpo e Patate (Octopus and Potato Salad)
Every time we cook octopus, Nat and I tell each other we need to do more.
This salad is why.
It is so classic, so fresh, so moorish. And that splash of white wine!
Do better at your next BBQ and present this. Level up!
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
2 – 3 bay leaves
1 x 600gm octopus, well cleaned (ask your fishmonger to do this)
1 1/4 tbsp rock salt
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Good splash of dry white wine
- Put the celery, carrots onion and bay leaves in a large saucepan, add 2 litres of water and bring to the boil. Continue boiling over a medium heat for 10 minutes to make a broth.
- Take the octopus by the head, with four fingers into it like a handle, and dip it into the boiling broth for 30 seconds. Repeat this two or three times until the tentacles start to curl, then release the octopus into the broth (this process should stop the octopus becoming hard during cooking).
- Leave it to boil over a medium heat for 30 minutes, adding some rock salt to taste. Test by piercing with a fork – if it pierces easily, it’s ready; if its still hard, let it cook for a little longer. When it’s ready, remove it from the broth and set aside until it is cool enough to handle with bare hands.* Reserve about 250ml of the broth as you may need it later.
- Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in their skins until cooked but not too soft. Leave to cool slightly, then peel and cut into a 2cm dice, Set aside.
- Pull each cooled tentacle down lengthways, squeezing at the same time to remove the suction pads and gelatine coating. Chop the flesh into 2cm pieces.
- Combine the octopus and potato in a bowl and dress with the oil, salt, parsley and garlic. Mix well, then finish with a splash of white wine to give the salad perfume. If the salad seems a little dry, add some of the reserved broth and to see gently.
- “Serve with Amore!”
* When it comes to pulling down the tentacles and gelatine coating, the octopus must be warm or hot.