At the beginning of Greek Orthodox Lent, Kathara Deftera or Clean Monday, I prepared several dishes and told you that I was going to post them during this period of lent.
However, due to all the events and other things popping up I have delayed. Shall try and post the other recipes within the next few days.
For those who do not know how to clean an octopus, you may see instructions here. Just follow the cleaning instructions.
I have read that some people use a cork while cooking an octopus. I have never used one and the octopus becomes very tender without it.
I shall start with the octopus salad which makes a wonderful mezes all year round.
Htapodi – Octopus Salad
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
1 octopus fresh or frozen (about 1 kilo)
½ cup white dry wine
½ cup olive oil
- A few peppercorns
3 – 4 bay leaves
2 medium potatoes
2- 3 spring onions
- Extra virgin Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Oregano (optional)
- Lemon juice
Put the octopus with the cleaned sac in the sauce pan (do not cut it into pieces) and let it boil, lower heat and turn it on the other side as well.
Place lid on pan and simmer for about half an hour or more (fresh octopus needs more time than the frozen one to tenderize). A pinkish to red liquid will sweat out of the octopus which, after half an hour or so, through away. Add the olive oil, the wine, bay leaves and peppercorns in the sauce pan (no salt) and when it begins boiling lower heat and simmer until the octopus becomes tender (about half an hour again).
Remove to a platter but keep the sauce. Cut into small pieces.
Meantime bake potatoes with skin either in the oven or cook them in the microwave until soft. Sometimes I place them in the basket of the pressure cooker (again with skin) and steam them for about 15 minutes.
When they can be handled, peel and cut them into small pieces.
Finely chop the onions and parsley and mix with the potatoes. Add the sauce of the octopus which you have reserved and mix all together as well as extra olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and oregano, at will.