The beauty of buying pre-cooked deli foods, is that is takes so much of the faff out of cooking.
These little nuggets of marinated octopus are the last of the goodies that needed using up from my recent little trip to Sicily. Bought from Gianni’s local delicatessen, a hop skip and a jump down the coast from Taromina. Plump, meaty and marinated in the finest quality olive oil, they neeed nothing more than a few chopped cherry tomatoes and some cooked chickpeas for a simple salad in the sun. What better time than now to share it with you. In these last few days of summer…
If you are wondering where you can find octopus, I advise you to check out local fishmongers and delis. They are the most likely suspects. Should this be an issue, you can use cooked squid rings in its place, or roasted artichoke hearts (for the veggie option)
If you do, fancy a moment of solitude in the kitchen, I have also included the way to can make this recipe from scratch too.. cooking the octopus from raw and all. Its pretty darn simple and certainly worth doing, if you have the time.
Octopus, Chickpea and Chilli Salad Recipe
If you are using pre-cooked chickpeas, be sure to wash them throughly in a sieve, before using.
- 200g cooked octopus, cut in chunks
- 400g chickpeas, cooked and rinsed
- 1/2 red chilli, chopped
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- small handful parsley
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- sea salt and fresh black pepper
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.
Serve with crusty bread, drizzled in garlic oil. (I used spelt sourdough)
I served my salad with toast and an assortment of condiments. One being by new favourite, Gran Luchito’s Chipotle Chilli Honey, which was spread in a thin lick across the crispy bread, over the garlic oil.
Its sounds like an unusual combination, but trust me, it is SUPERB!
How to cook an Octopus
Octopus can be tough if not tenderised before cooking. Rather hilariously, the traditional way to tenderise the ocotpus meat used to be to hurl it against rocks… Im sure you can envisage such a sight. Imagine being a passer by witnessing such a moment between a hapless apron-clad housewife and a giant octopus on the front lawn, on your walk home from work.
For the sake of practicality, an easier method is to simply simmer it for an hour in a big pot of water. After this you can, grill or stew the octopus until tender.