Grilled Octopus Salad (Insalata di Polipo)
- 16 ounces cleaned octopus with heads removed (about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds uncleaned)
- 2 cups full-bodied red wine, such as Chianti or Sangiovese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cloves unpeeled garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 bunch mint, stems removed, leaves torn into pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped green olives, preferably Cerignola (available at specialty olive bars)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 endives with core removed, julienned
- 3 cups julienned radicchio leaves
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas or gigante beans
Put the octopus in a pot with the wine and enough cold water to cover. Add the onions, carrots, celery, thyme, and bay leaf; bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat and cook until opaque, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the octopus with a slotted spoon and cool. (This may be done a day ahead and refrigerated in a covered bowl.)
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill until hot. Position the rack about 5 to 6 inches from the heat.
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, mint leaves, and green olives in the jar of a blender and puree into a smooth emulsion. Alternatively, whisk these ingredients together in a small bowl for a chunkier texture. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper and set aside. Toss the endive, radicchio, and chickpeas together in a salad bowl and set aside.
Grill the octopus for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once after 2 to 3 minutes, until it is browned in spots and nicely caramelized but not burned. Remove and cut into bite-size pieces. 0054oss with the greens and vinaigrette, divide among 4 plates, and serve.
Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michael White at Fiamma Trattoria and Bar, MGM Grand