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Baby Octopus Salad


Cooking baby octopus can be intimidating but actually as long as you leave time to marinate and tenderise it properly and don’t overcook it, it can be a delicious alternative to chicken or fish in a salad. Try it here, grilled, with crispy potatoes and smoked paprika aioli.


491 per serving

Saturated fat

2.1g per serving

Preparation time

3 hours marinating time

Cooking time

45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 300ml dry white wine
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 3 pieces
  • 5 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, 3 tbsps finely chopped, plus extra leaves for garnish
  • 2 lemons
  • 900g cleaned baby octopus
  • 1 Valencia orange
  • 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsps dry white wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 790g small potatoes
  • 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 Valencia orange
  • 6 tbsps mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika


Step 1: Put 1.4 litres of water, 300ml wine, the onion, celery and 5 parsley sprigs in a large pan. Cut 1 lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pan over a sieve. Discard the seeds, then add the 2 lemon halves. When simmering, add the octopus and cook for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Finely grate the zest of the other lemon and 1 orange into a bowl then squeeze in the juice. Add the oil, 4 tbsps of wine, chopped parsley, garlic, paprika and 1/4 tsp of pepper.

Step 3: Drain the octopus and cut into quarters, then add to the bowl. Cover and marinate, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours.

Step 4: Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes. Drain and cool. Meanwhile, make the aioli. Coarsely chop and mash together the garlic and salt into a paste. Transfer into a bowl and grate in the zest of 1 orange, then 3 tbsps of juice. Whisk in the mayonnaise and paprika and refrigerate.

Step 5: Slice the cooled potatoes into a bowl. Mix together with 2 tbsps of the oil, paprika, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Heat 1 tbsp of the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan, add half the potatoes and cook for 6 minutes until golden and then turn. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining oil and potatoes. While the potatoes are hot, add 1/2 tsp of salt, pepper and the parsley.

Step 6: Remove the octopus from the marinade and season. Grill the octopus for 10-12 minutes on a heated griddle pan, turning occasionally, until golden and crispy on the edges. Divide the potatoes among four plates. Top with the octopus, drizzle with the aioli and garnish with parsley leaves.

From The Perfectly Tossed Salad by Mindy Fox (£15.99, Kyle Books)



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