Italian octopus salad

Ricetta insalata polpo

The octopus salad is one the most known dish from Italy and it’s so simple to prepare and perfect for warm summer days that you won’t regret using some of your time in making it. Despite the fact it’s a traditional Italian recipe, there are different recipes for this salad but all of them agree on two things: the parsley and a good extra virgin olive oil are fundamental to make an irresistible octopus salad.

What you need to know about the octopus

When you use a fresh octopus you need to beat it to soften the meat and then clean it to remove eyes, beak and entrails. After cleaning the octopus, it has to be rinsed and cooked. The octopus can be cooked in boiling water by calculating about 30 minutes every 500 grams of product, or in a pressure cooker with a reduction of the cooking time by at least half, or even placing it in a large pot with a little oil, garlic and salt and letting it cook in its same liquid at a very low temperature and for a long time. In all cases it is necessary to leave the octopus inside of its water until it will be cooled so that the meat will reamain tender.

Italian octopus salad – the recipe

What you need for 4 people
1 kg of octopus
1 clove of garlic
2 chillies
2 stalks of celery
1 lemon

How to make the octopus salad
1. Clean the octopus and cook it in boiling water until the meat will become white and tender.
2. Allow the octopus to cool in its cooking water and then, once cool, drain and cut into pieces without removing the outer skin or the suction cups.
3. Season the octopus with chopped parsley, extra virgin olive oil, the chopped celery ribs, chopped pepper, the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper as needed.
4. Allow to flavor the octopus salad for a couple of hours and then serve cold as an appetizer or as a main dish.

Preparation time: 3 hours

Insalata polpo

Tips and tricks for a perfect Italian octopus salad

1. You can add black olives or pieces of orange to give your salad a different taste;
2. Once ready, you need to eat the salad no later than 24-36 hours holding it in the refrigerator and pulling out a few minutes before serving.