Have you ever tried octopus salad? Octopus it’s very popular in the Mediterranean Sea and in Mexico and it tastes a lot like calamari, just meatier. In Italy we call it “insalata di polipo” and in Mexico it’s called “ensalada de pulpo”, but the sure thing is that octopus salad is one of my favorite seafood dishes ever, with lots of lemon juice and parsley to make it even richer. In South America octopus salad is often made like a ceviche and cooked in an acidic marinade, without heat, but we are going to cook it in a different way, blanching it first, then slowly cooking it in its own juices over a bed of aromatic herbs. If you wish to make this recipe more tasty and richer, you can add extra flavours like tomatoes, red onions and lime juice.
To make a really tasty and fresh octopus salad, start by putting on the heat a pot full of water, in which you need to add celery, a carrot, bay leaves and salt. Clean the octopus and when the water boils, dip it in the water holding it by the head; dip it 3-4 times so that its tentacles soften up and become curly at the same time. Then just fully put the octopus in the pot and cook with the lid.
Cook for about 30-35 minutes, also depending on how big the octopus is. Once finished cooking, remove the octopus from the pot with a pair of pliers and lay it on a cutting board; chop it in pieces, about 2-3 inches long. Put the octopus pieces in a bowl and season them with olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, chopped parsley, salt and pepper, and finish by garnishing with a slice of lemon.