Since we are still on the carb witch hunt in this country, I will focus on a salad. Let me get it out on the record first that there is nothing more glorious than a warm slice of freshly baked baguette slathered with rich butter (yep, you read it right here, BUTTER, not I-Can’t-Believe, or, I-Promise-You-Won’t-Know-The-Difference, or You-Don’t-Value-Yourself-Enough-To-Have-It-And-Nor-Do-We butter). That said, I have been known to profess to friends and family, my inner suspicions that I was a rabbit in another life, not because of my cuddly nature (which I lack) or bounding energy (something I also lack) but rather because of my insatiable craving for greens. A good salad is definitely on my top ten list. Of course, I refuse to compromise and will tell you, this dinner is delicious with a crusty buttered baguette as well as a nice bottle of Albarino wine such as Nora or a refreshing Chardonnay, such as La Crema, described by Wine Specator as “elegant and polished, with understated apple, melon and light hazelnut flavors that build, offering depth and complexity.”
Grilled Octopus Salad
1 lbs. baby octopus1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped fine
1/4 cup flat parsely
1 cup mixed baby greens
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/8 cup sliced red onions
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
While most kids beg for chicken nuggets or pepperoni pizza, my kids plead for baby octupus! And why wouldn't they? Although it is terribly neglected in this country, in other places, such as Spain, Greece and Venezuela, it gets culinary accolades for its delicious flavor. The trick is to get it tender and there are many different takes on how to properly do this. I find boiling the octopus in salted water for 20 minutes lends for a very tender result.
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt and add baby octopus. Gently boil for 20 minutes.
While the octopus is cooking, heat up 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion with garlic until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, reduce heat and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add parsely and cook another 2 minutes.
When octopus is done boiling, drain. Mix octopus with tomato sauce.
Heat up grill pan on high heat and grill the octopus about five minutes on each side.
Meanwhile prepare salad by mixing greens, cherry tomatoes and red onion. Add lime, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper.
Slice grilled octopus into 1 " pieces and add to salad.