In Greek cuisine one of my favorite dishes is octopus salad.
Octopus is an inherit part during feasting time as strictly religious people do not even eat fish during this time but still are allowed to eat sea food like octopus, clams, mussels or shrimps.
My son and I always fight about the octopus salad. You might think it is difficult to make but it is really easy and the cooking of the octopus does not need your attention at all.
1 large octopus (about 1 kg and more)
some Oregano (optional)
How to prepare it:
Check the octopus if the tooth and the brain has already been removed. If not remove the tooth between the tentacles of the octopus with a sharp-pointed knife. Cut of the head on top of the eyes, turn it inside out and remove the ink pouch and the bones.
Wash the octopus under cold water and place it into a large pot. Peel the onion and the carrot, cut into halves and add it to the pot.
Close the lid and let cook on medium to low heat (on 3 or 4 on a scale of 9) for appr. one hour.
Check with a knife if the octopus is soft. If necessary let cook another 15-30 minutes. The octopus has turned to a red color by now and the pot will be filled with some water.
Remove the octopus from the heat and rinse under running cold water, removing the red skin.
Cut off the eyes from the tentacles. Cut the head and the tentacles into small pieces, add some vinegar and let stand for at least half hour.
If you do not serve it right after cooking store the octopus in the fridge. As the octopus is getting jelly when cold let stand at room temperature for at least half hour before serving. If necessary add some more vinegar. Add some oregano and olive oil and stir well.
My tip: the octopus is getting more soft when once deep-freezed. I prefer frozen octopus. Let it unfreeze overnight and cook it the next day.
You also might ask what for the onion and the carrot? This tip is from a Greek friend of mine! First time I cooked octopus you do not want to know how my house was smelling!! It was awful! Don’t ask me why, but when you add an onion and a carrot the octopus does not smell at all! Funny thing, isn’t it?