Grilled Octopus with Celery and Cannellini Bean Salad

Total Time:
10 hr 25 min
25 min
8 hr
2 hr

4 servings

  • Octopus:
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1/2 red onion, cut in half
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 baby octopus (about 1 pound)
  • Salad:
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Cooked Cannellini Beans, recipe follows, or 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 celery ribs (from the light green delicate inside), cut very thin on a bias
  • 3 cups washed baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup celery leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Big fat finishing oil
  • Cooked Cannellini Beans:
  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 bundle fresh thyme
  • 1/2 Spanish onion
  • Kosher salt
  • To make the octopus: Coat a large saucepan with olive oil and toss in the garlic, carrot, celery and onion. Season with salt and crushed red pepper and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. Cook the veggies until they are soft and aromatic, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the vinegar and fill the pan with water. Season with salt, toss in the bay leaves and bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the baby octopus and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the liquid and let cool. (This part can sooooooo be done ahead.)

  • To prep the salad: Coat a large straight-sided saute pan with olive oil, toss in the onions, season with salt and crushed red pepper. Bring the pan to a medium heat and cook the onions until they start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Toss in the beans, chicken stock and celery and cook until the stock has reduced by a little more than half. Turn off the heat and reserve the bean mixture.

  • Preheat the grill. Cut the heads off the octopus and cut the legs into sections of 2 legs. Oil the legs and place them on the grill to slightly char and heat up the octopus.

  • In a large bowl, toss the arugula and celery leaves with the lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt. Divide among 4 serving plates and spoon some of the warm bean mixture onto the arugula. Arrange the legs between the plates. Drizzle with big fat finishing oil.

Cooked Cannellini Beans:
  • Drain the beans from the soaking water and place in a medium saucepan. Toss in the garlic cloves, bay leaf, carrot, celery, thyme and onion. Add water to the pan until it covers the beans by about 2 inches.

  • Put the pan on a high heat and bring the water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until the beans are very soft and tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn the heat off.

  • Season the water generously with salt and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain the beans from the cooking liquid and remove the veggies, bay and thyme and discard. Yield: 2 1/2 cups cooked beans.

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