Greeks love to eat octopus in all variations, but Octopus Salad is one of desserts of their summers. Octopus has been on Greek plates obviously for centuries and centuries: Cretan Minoans have even painted frescoes on the walls of Knossos Palace of a fisherman carrying an octopus.
Octopus legs (or arms) are the most delicious part of octopus although the head can be eaten as well if the internal organs are removed. Octopus can be cooked or grilled and it tastes great. Greeks like to eat cooked or grilled octopus with lemon juice or vinegar and some olive oil, especially on islands where they get it as fresh as it gets – directly from the sea. But few additional ingredients turn it into a taste feast.
Octopus Salad Recipe
- 1 kg. octopus, cooked
- 1 medium cucumber
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 small or 1 medium red onion
- a couple of bay leaves
- Olive Oil
- Few lemons
- Dry oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the octopus thoroughly in warm water. Place in a pot with a lot of water (to cover octopus completely). Add salt, whole peppercorns, lemon, garlic, and bay leaves. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and keep cooking for one hour or until the octopus is tender. Add water during the cooking so that octopus stays covered with water all the time. When it’s done, take the octopus out and run under cold running water and run with your hands to remove slippery tissues. Cut the octopus into smaller, size-bite pieces.
In the meantime, cut the red onions, garlic, and red bell peppers. Combine everything in the bowl, add pieces of octopus, and add oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice, freshly squeezed. Mix everything well, and set aside for some time so that all flavors can mix. When ready to serve the salad, use a big plate and arrange a bed of lettuce and radicchio, cut in bigger chunks. Then place a scoop of octopus mixture at it and adjust seasoning. You can always add more olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and some oregano, of course.
You can eat it as a salad, or serve with rice, for example, as a complete meal.
Greek names of the ingredients of the recipe for Octopus salad
- cucumber= aggouri, αγγούρι
- lettuce= marouli, μαρούλι
- bay leaves = fylla dafnis, φύλλα δάφνης
- bell peppers = piperies, πιπεριές
- olive oil = elaiolado, ελαιόλαδο
- salt = alati, αλάτι
- oregano= rigani, ρίγανη
- red onion= kokkino kremmydi, κόκκινο κρεμμύδι
- lemon= lemoni, λεμόνι
- radicchio= ραντίτσιο (ιταλικό μαρούλι)
- octopus= htapodi, χταπόδι