Saturday, 3 November 2012
I adore pickles, and pickled seafood is high on my list. I like the sweet Lithuanian-style pickled fish but I adore boquerones (white anchovies) and any kind of pickled octopus.
When I think of octopus, I do think of Greek cuisine. They have a lot of interesting and flavoursome octopus recipes, whether it’s braised in red wine or barbecued after hours of marinating in lemon juice and garlic.
When I decided to make pickled octopus, I took the Greek herbs and spices for inspiration and flavoured my pickling liquor with oregano, bay and chilli.
The results are divine: soft, sour tentacles that satisfy my current cravings.
Oktapodi Toursi (Greek-Style Pickled Octopus)
Anna’s very own recipe. Makes one mezze to serve 2.
500g cleaned baby octopus
2 teaspoons peppercorns
2 teaspoons chilli flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 dried bay leaves
½ teaspoon fresh parsley, very finely chopped
1 cup (250ml) white wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil, to finish
600ml sterilised preserve jar
1. In a small saucepan, bring ½ cup (125ml) cold water and the baby octopus to the boil. Reduce to simmer and braise for 20 minutes or until octopus is tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside to cool.
2. When cool, arrange octopus in the preserving jar. It’s easier to fit it all in if you place the tentacles against the glass with the heads gathered together in the centre of the jar. Sprinkle in fresh parsley.
3. In another saucepan, bring all other ingredients (peppercorns, chilli flakes, smoked paprika, dried oregano, sliced garlic cloves, dried bay leaves and white wine vinegar) to the boil.
4. Pour boiling vinegar over octopus then immediately top with olive oil to ensure no octopus parts stick out above the liquid.
5. Seal jar immediately, cool to room temperature then refrigerate for 1 week before eating.
6. Bring to room temperature again before opening jar and serving.