Roasted octopus with smoked paprika, parsley & lemon

Roasted octopus with smoked paprika, parsley & lemon

Polvo assado

By
From
Lisbon
Serves
4
Photographer
Steven Joyce

There is something wonderful about combining sweet but salty octopus, slightly charred, with smoky paprika and lemon juice.

Don’t be intimidated by octopus – it takes a little time to prepare, but most of that is simmering time, and it is really easy to cook. If you’re buying fresh octopus, ask your fishmonger to prepare it for you by removing the head and mouth parts. I often use frozen octopus, which works just as well and is easier to find at Asian supermarkets and fishmongers. You can even make this with good-quality cooked octopus – vacuum-packed, not tinned – in which case you can skip the simmering stage.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 octopus, raw, defrosted if frozen, if frozen, cleaned, head and mouth parts removed
1 garlic clove, whole and peeled
2 bay leaves
olive or vegetable oil, for cooking

Dressing

Quantity Ingredient
4 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
generous handful chopped coriander leaves

Method

  1. Place the octopus, garlic and bay leaves in a large saucepan with a lid over a high heat and bring to the boil without any added liquid (the octopus will release plenty of its own). Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the meat is really tender. Remove from the liquid, drain and pat the octopus dry with paper towels, then slice into chunks.
  2. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat and add a splash of oil, followed by the octopus pieces. Cook, turning often, for about 5 minutes until gently charred all over. Remove from the pan and place in a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the smoked paprika, crushed garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Dress the octopus with this and taste a piece – it almost certainly won’t need salt, but you may like more lemon or garlic. Finish by stirring through the fresh chopped coriander. Eat warm.
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