Xtapódi stí skára
We ate this dish at the taverna on Karathona Beach when filming Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece TV series. The menu declared that the octopus was frozen, as being out of season. However, freezing actually tenderizes the octopus so I wasn’t concerned. This is a fantastic technique of pre-cooking the octopus first to make it really soft.
Preparation: 45 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
1kg large octopus tentacles
½ cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
One large lemon, halved
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons lightly crushed rigani (or oregano)
Ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
¼ savoy cabbage, shredded finely
1 medium carrot, peeled, shredded finely
Red or white wine vinegar to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Lemon wedges to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan forced 160°C). Wash the octopus tentacles under cold water, place it in a non-stick roasting dish, cover the dish with baking paper and then foil, and secure edges around the roasting dish to seal it. Cook for 40-45 minutes or until the octopus is fork tender. Check it once or twice during the cooking time to ensure it doesn’t dry out. If necessary add a little water for moisture.
2. Place the tentacles in a large bowl, add the oil, squeeze the lemon juice over the octopus and chop the lemon in four, add to bowl. Add garlic, rigiani, pepper and salt. Cover, and marinate for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
3. Preheat a large barbecue plate or char-grill plate to hot. Drain octopus, cook for a few minutes on each side. If the barbecue plate or char-grill is small, cook the octopus in two batches, reheat the plate to hot between batches. While octopus is cooking combine the cabbage and carrot and dress with white or red wine vinegar and olive oil to taste.
4. Slice the octopus tentacles to serve. Serve with lemon wedges and the cabbage slaw.
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