Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Octopus salad
( Insalata di polpo )

Our original home cooking

Octopus salad is a very easy recipe, you have only to cook octopus for a long time. On the contrary vegetables added to this recipe should be kept crisp. If they are too soft, the texture of the dish may change radically. Everyone in Italy has its doses and recipe. I propose my own, serving a lot of people. In fact, octopus salad as well as being served in your family menu it is ideal for meals, buffet style in all seasons or a full menu for your get-togethers.

difficulty: easy

time: preparation: 45 minutes
cooking: about 60 minutes
plus cooling time
total: 1 hour 45 minutes

calories: 212 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 12

  • 2kg (4.4 pounds) fresh octopus
  • 450g (1 pound) frozen green beans
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons dried chives
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 45 minutes
cooking: about 60 minutes
plus cooling time
total: 1 hour 45 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 212 (kcal) 11 % - 886 (kJ)
Protein: 17.7 (g) 36 % GDA
Total fat: 7.2 (g) 11 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 13.2 (g) 5 % GDA
Sugars: 2.9 (g) 4 % GDA

Download free PDF version (76 download).

Octopus & vegetable salad
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Octopus & vegetable salad

Octopus salad recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Boil octopus.
    This step is a bit long.
    Proceeding, however, as I'm about to explain you have the certainty of obtaining tender and delicate meat.
    First of all you need to clean octopus,if necessary.
    Eliminate internal organs, eyes and beak.
    Use a tall, large pot. Water level should be no higher than 3/4 of the height.
    Bring water to a hard boil.
    Pour in octopus and wait for the water back to a boil.
    After 1 minutes remove octopus and run it under cold water.
    Repeat this step for other two times in the same water.
    At the end, change water and boil your mollusk till tender.
    Diddicult to tell you a standard time. Everything depends on octopus size.
    Keep it in its cooking water, so think of it when you decide to turn off the stove.
    In fact octopus will continue cooking for some time.
  • - Prepare other ingredients.
    Meanwhile steam vegetables.
    Green beans need light steaming (5-10 minutes according to their size).
    Potatoes have longer cooking time.
    In every case all vegetables must be tender but still crisp and crunchy.
    Let them cool and cut into medium pieces.
  • - Assemble octopus salad.
    Remove skin from octopus when still tepid and cut into pieces.
    At this point combine all ingredients in a large bowl, dried herbs and olive oil included.
    Taste to season with salt and stir gently.
    You should proceed with caution with salt because octopus is already salty

Just before serving

  • - Keep your octopus salad in a cool place or in the refrigerator for quite a few hours to rest and absorb all flavors.
  • - But bring to room temperature an hour before serving if chilled.
    Stir very well before serving and eventually add other olive oil.



  • - If you have little time, you can use precooked frozen octopus. In this case consult instructions on the package.
  • - You can prepare octopus salad in advance. This is very important when you have to cook a meal with a lot of courses.
  • - If it seems to you too time-consuming the process I have just described to cook octopus, you can put it in boiling water and simmer for about sixty minutes if it is large (at least 1.5kg - 3.3 pounds), for a more limited time if it is smaller.
    Another secret my grandmother from Abruzzo taught me is to beat octopus with a meat mallet so pulping it. Then my grandmother put it directly in cold water.
  • - Add lemon juice or balsamic vinegar if liked.
    If you use fresh chives and parsley your dish will be better.
    You can also use other kinds of vegetables. There are green olives and potatoes in the second photo.
    This dish can be made only with boiled octopus, seasoned with parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. But in this case the performance of this plate is very limited. Think about it when you have to prepare food for so many people. Potatoes or green beans or other vegetables increase volumes ;))
    Another combination can be only octopus and potaoes.
    Have you ever tested octopus and beans? Its taste is fantastic.
  • - If you want to decorate well your octopus salad, buy baby octopus in addition to big ones. Then cook them separately or in the same water but removing them with a slotted spoon after 20 - 30 minutes. You'll use them whole as a final garnish well in sight, on top of your salad. You can see them in the first photo.

Menu planning

  • - Serve octopus salad as starter, dish in a meal, buffet-style or main dish in your family dinner.
  • - The recipe is accompanied by two photos because you can serve it in different ways.
    The first photo refers to a garden party (midsummer dinner party). The second photo refers to a get-together with friends in which I prepared a lot of mouth-watering dishes out of the usual Italian scheme: starter-first course-second course-dessert. The best way for me to spend good time with the people I'm most fond of. I can prepare everything in advance, to be able to enjoy my company ;)) I combined these other dishes to octopus salad:orange-flavored prawn salad, beef and speck meatloaf, pizza wiith salmon and asparagus and pizza with culatello. You'll be able to find my last two pizzas in the index of pizza recipes.

Healthy eating

  • - Calories and fat for octopus salad are not high. Any differences don't derive from octopus that has only 57 calories per 100 grams and 1.0 grams of fat but from the amount of potatoes and oil. Each tablespoon of olive oil has 90 calories and 10 grams of fat. So be careful when you season octopus salad. Rather than adding olive oil it is best to use lemon juice or vinegar ;))
  • - Fiber per serving: only 2 grams.


What's the right wine for " Octopus salad "?

My husband and I are used to match wine according to the other dishes combined with octopus salad. So if I plan a meal, buffet-style the best choice for us is bubbles from Veneto, Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene Spumante. Our favorite wine is from Le Carline. Read more on this firm that produces organic wines.
Other choices: "Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi" white Italian wine from Marche, Vermentino di Gallura and Vermentino di Sardegna from Sardinia.
We often serve rosé wines especially if octopus salad is associated also with meat dishes in a buffet. If you want some suggestions take a look at our page dedicated to Italian wines.