Octopus is a tasty and versatile dish, perfect to make in salads on these hot summer days. Often, however, it is gummy and indigestible. Follow our advice and you will have a soft and perfectly cooked octopus
The octopus it is one of the tastiest and most enjoyable dishes to eat in salads, now that temperatures reach 30 degrees in the shade! It can be garnished in many ways, with classic potatoes and parsley or with other vegetables such as peppers, green beans, carrots or diced mixed vegetables. However, it often happens to obtain a rubbery octopus: the biggest difficulty, in any of these recipes, lies in fact octopus cooking, which, if wrong, would ruin your plate irreparably leaving you a hard and chewy food, impossible to swallow. To be able instead to get a soft and cooked octopus, you should not rely on chance or a false beliefs like cork stoppers, but avoid 5 common mistakes which you will find in the tutorial. Here, however, we recommend recipes.
Octopus salad with olives and potatoes
It is perhaps the best known of the octopus salads and the easiest to prepare. First choose a fresh and clean octopus (weighing 800-900 g), let it freeze overnight in the freezer and the next day let it thaw in the fridge. Once thawed, put it in a large pot with plenty of cold salted water. Add a carrot, a stalk of celery and a bay leaf. Cook on a low heat until you see the water smoking. At this point remove the pan from the heat, cover it with a lid and let the octopus cook in this water for about an hour. Turn it from time to time with a fork and check the consistency of the meat. After about an hour remove the lid e let the octopus cool in its water, without draining it. Once it is cold, remove it from the pan, with your hands, if you prefer, remove the suction cups and the skin and cut it into pieces that you will place in a large bowl. Apart from boil three medium-sized potatoes in their skins. Once cooked, peel them and cut them into small pieces. Add the potatoes to the octopus, add some taggiasche olives in brine and a few leaves of parsley. Season everything with plenty of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of sweet paprika and serve.
Stripping: yes or no?
Here it is a question of tastes and also of traditions: in South Italy it is not used to remove the skin from the octopus, nor the suckers, unlike in Northern Italy it is a more common practice.
Let's say that, especially in very large octopuses (over 2kg) the skin can be annoying, especially on the head, but you can easily eliminate it after cooking.