- Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 octopus, weighing
- 1 –1.5 kg/2 lb 4 oz–3 lb 6 oz
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 200 ml/7floz/scant 1 cup sunflower oil
- 100 ml/3½ floz/generous ⅓ cup olive oil
- 20 Kalamata olives (or another variety of black olive), pitted
- Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
AVOCADO & TOMATOES
- 4 avocados
- 10 Christmas grapes’ tomatoes (or another variety of cherry tomato),
- ½ bunch of coriander (cilantro) leaves
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- coarse sea salt (optional)
How to Make It
- To cook the octopus, put the celery, lemon, bay leaves, thyme and black peppercorns in a large pan of cold water and bring to the boil.
- Meanwhile, wash the octopus under cold running water, turning the mantle inside out and rinsing well.
- Reduce the heat slightly under the pan so the water comes off the boil. Immerse the octopus tentacles slowly in and out of the water to avoid a sudden ‘plunge’. Repeat several times and then place the whole octopus in the water, cover the pan and cook for 30–40 minutes. Remove the lid from the pan and turn off the heat,
- leaving the octopus in the water for a further 20–25 minutes. Drain the octopus, pierce it with the tip of a knife to check it is tender, before cutting the tentacles into roughly 5-cmcm/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
- To make the sauce, combine the egg yolk with the lime juice in a blender or food processor. With the motor running, add the sunflower oil in drops, followed by the olive oil, processing until you have a smooth mayonnaise. Add the olives and process again until smooth and incorporated into the mayonnaise. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- To prepare the avocados, halve them and remove the stones (pits). Using a tablespoon, scoop out the flesh from each half, keeping it in one piece. Cut the flesh lengthwise into 5-mm/¼-inch slices.
- Heat a grill pan (broiler pan) over a high heat. Once the pan is hot, grill (broil) the avocado slices on both sides for 2–3 minutes, or until they start to caramelize. Clean the pan and sprinkle a little paprika over the octopus tentacles. Grill the tentacles – having first sprinkled them with a little olive oil, if wished – until they are a rich caramel colour. This will take only a few minutes, so keep an eye on the pan and turn the tentacles over occasionally. Add the tomato halves when the tentacles are almost ready. Cook for around 30 seconds.
- Serve the grilled octopus with the avocado, tomatoes and olive sauce in a serving dish or on a platter. Drizzle with a little olive oil and garnish with the coriander (cilantro) leaves and lime wedges and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt.