Grilled Baby Octopus Salad with Lambs Lettuce, Manchego, Oven Cured Tomatoes and Lemon Herb Dressing
1 – 2 pound baby octopus, already tenderized in poaching process and chilled
2 ounces olive oil
6 bunches lambs lettuce, also called mache
3 ounces Manchego cheese, peeled with a potato peeler into thin slices
24 oven-cured tomatoes (sun dried tomatoes may be used as well if reconstituted in warm water)
salt and white pepper to taste
- Remove the tentacles from the head and leave in large pieces. If your preference, cut the head into pieces as well.
- Gently coat the octopus with a little olive oil and season with salt and white pepper. On a preheated grill, cook the pieces until the edges begin to slightly char. Reserve warm until plating.
- While the octopus is grilling, arrange the lambs lettuce on a chilled plate.
- Slice the grilled octopus into smaller pieces while warm. Gently toss with lemon herb dressing and arrange on the plates. Spoon some of the dressing on the plate and top the salad with a few of the oven cured tomatoes and shaved Manchego cheese.
- To finish the salad, gingerly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serves 6.
Preparing the baby octopus
In a saucepan large enough to hold a one to two pound baby octopus (ink sack removed), add half a lemon, one cup of white wine and enough water to submerge the octopus. Cover with a lid and bring to a low simmer on a stove until the octopus is tender when pierced with a fork. This may take up to an hour based upon how high the simmer temperature is. Once tender, turn off the heat and allow the octopus to rest in the cooking water until it is cool enough to be handled. This step may be performed a day before and held in the refrigerator once cool enough to handle. Be careful to handle the octopus gently so not to tear the skin.
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