Cooked low and slow, tender octopus tentacles are the star of this hearty salad.
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 400 g (14 oz) octopus tentacles, tenderised
- 65 g (2 oz/⅓ cup) toasted buckwheat
- 40 g (1½ oz/⅓ cup) cooked quinoa
- 1 tbsp currants
- 1 tbsp finely diced fennel
- 2 radishes, finely sliced
- ½ cup mint leaves
- 1 tsp pomegranate seeds
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon
- 200 g (7 oz) haloumi, diced
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.
To cook the octopus, place 2 litres (2 quarts/8 cups) water in a large saucepan. Add salt, fennel seeds, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and lemon. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the octopus and simmer for 40–50 minutes, until tender. Remove from pan and set aside to rest. In a mixing bowl, combine the buckwheat, quinoa, currants, fennel, radishes, mint, pomegranate, 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest and juice.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook haloumi for 2–3 minutes, stirring and turning occasionally, until golden brown. While still warm add to the salad and toss well. Arrange the salad on a large board and top with the octopus tentacles.
• To tenderise the octopus, beat with a meat mallet or rolling pin for 15 minutes.