Grilled Baby Octopus & Cumin-White Bean Salad

Menu Part: 
Entree
Cuisine Type: 
American
Serves: 
6

Succulent grilled baby octopus is served on a bed of cumin bean salad. The zesty salad has jicama and cucumber for a nice texture contrast.

Ingredients

4 lb. baby octopus, cleaned
3 cups dry white wine
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 sprig thyme
1 tbsp. coarse sea salt
1 head garlic, halved
1 med. carrot, small dice
1/2 med. onion, small dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 bunches arugula, tough stems removed

Cumin-White Bean Salad:
1/2 lb. dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
2 tbsp. chopped red onion
3 tbsp. diced seeded tomato
1/3 cup diced jicama
1/3 cup diced seedless cucumber
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
Grated zest of 1 lime
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves
1 1/2 tsp. chopped mint leaves
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps

1. Put octopus in large pot; pour in wine and about 8 cups water. Add peppercorns, thyme, salt, garlic, carrot, onion, and celery; bring liquid to a boil over high heat, then lower heat and let simmer until octopus is tender, 1-1 1/2 hr., depending on size. Periodically skim any impurities from surface.

2. Remove octopus from cooking liquid; strain liquid and return to pot over high heat. Cook until liquid reduces to 3 tbsp. Remove pot from heat and let liquid cool.

3. Put cooking liquid in a bowl; add 1/4 cup olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Whisk together; adjust seasoning, if necessary.

4. Grill octopus until charred on both sides, approximately 6 min. total.

5. Toss arugula with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Spoon bean salad in center of plates. Top with octopus and arugula. Drizzle vinaigrette around plate.

Cumin-White Bean Salad:

1. Drain beans and put in a pot with about 5 cups cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; lower heat and let simmer, covered, until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hr.

2. Let beans cool; toss with red onion, tomato, jicama, cucumber, jalapeño, cumin, rice vinegar, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, and mint. Season with salt and pepper.

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