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 can find a link at the end of the post.
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
For the salad:
2 medium potatoes, cooked
2- 3 spring onions, finely chopped
- Parsley, finely chopped
- 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. Turn it on the other side and add the olive oil, the wine, bay leaves and peppercorns (I do not add salt) and when it begins boiling lower heat and simmer until the octopus becomes tender (about half an hour again). Test with a fork, it should easily pierce the flesh. (Fresh octopus is less tender and some water may need to be added until it is cooked).
- Remove to a platter but keep the sauce. Cut into small pieces. (At this stage you can cut it and stew it, make it ladorigani by adding olive oil, oregano, salt pepper and vinegar or cook it with pasta).
- Meantime bake potatoes with skin on, cooking them either in the oven or in the microwave, until soft. Sometimes I place them in the basket of the pressure cooker (again with skin o) and steam them for about 15 minutes.
- When they can be handled, peel and cut them into small pieces.
- Add the onions and parsley which mix with the potatoes. Add the sauce of the octopus which you have reserved and mix all together.
- Add some more extra virgin olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and oregano, at will.
You can find many more Greek recipes in my cookbook «More Than A Greek Salad», and «Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores.
Other relevant recipes:
How to Clean an Octopus (step by step)
Htapodi me Makaronaki Kofto (Octopus with Pasta)
Htapodi me Hilopites (Octopus with Mushrooms and homemade pasta)
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,