We ate this chargrilled octopus dish at the taverna on Karathona beach. The menu declared that the octopus was out of season, thus frozen. However, since freezing actually tenderises the tentacles, I wasn’t concerned. This is a fantastic technique of pre-cooking the octopus first to make it really soft.
- 1 kg large octopus tentacles
- 125 ml (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large lemon, cut into halves
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 tbsp lightly crushed rigani (dried Greek oregano)
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes
- lemon wedges, to serve
- ¼ savoy cabbage, shredded
- 1 carrot, peeled, shredded
- red or white wine vinegar, to taste
- extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Serve as a light entree or as part of a meze platter.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
Wash the octopus tentacles under cold water, place them in a non-stick roasting tin, cover the tin with a layer of baking paper and then foil, and secure the edges around the roasting tin to seal it. Cook for 40-45 minutes, or until the octopus is tender when tested with a fork. Check it once or twice during the cooking time to ensure it doesn’t dry out. If necessary, add a little water for moisture.
Place the tentacles in a large bowl, add the oil and squeeze over the lemon juice. Chop the lemon into quarters and add to the bowl. Add the garlic, rigani and salt and season with some freshly ground black pepper. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat a large barbecue flat plate or chargrill plate to hot. Drain the octopus and cook for a few minutes on each side. If the flat plate or chargrill is small, cook the octopus in two batches, reheating the plate to hot between batches.
Meanwhile, to make the slaw, combine the cabbage and carrot and dress with the wine vinegar and oil to taste.
Slice the octopus tentacles to serve. Serve with lemon wedges and the cabbage slaw.