Greek-Style Grilled Octopus

Greek-Style Grilled Octopus

  • Duration

    2 hours

  • Serves

    4 to 6
Chef’s notes

This dish is inspired by an Atlanta chef named Pano Karatossos. His technique for braising and then grilling octopus creates perfectly tender meat while infusing aromatics and smoke into the finished product.

The dish is best when finished on a charcoal or a wood-burning grill, but in a pinch, gas will also work. It is extremely difficult to predict exactly how long the octopus will take to braise, so begin checking it after 45 minutes and remove it only once a metal skewer or small knife can easily pierce the meat.

Ingredients

Octopus

  • 2 whole octopus
  • 1 gal. red wine vinegar
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 2 tbsp. black peppercorns, whole
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 2 head garlic
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, halved

Hummus

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed into a paste
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 can chickpeas

Garnish

  • 1 bunch dill, picked into fronds
  • 1 bunch chives, sliced into 1-inch sticks
  • Flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
  • 2 tbsp. salt-packed capers, rinsed
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pits removed and halved
  • 1 red onion, julienned

Preparation

Octopus

  1. Preheat oven to 225°F and set up your grill for high heat.
  2. In a medium size stainless steel Dutch oven bring to a boil the vinegar, onion, peppercorns, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, and lemon. Add the octopus to the mixture and heat until it returns to a boil. Cover and place in the preheated oven.
  3. Check the octopus for tenderness starting at 45 minutes. If it needs more time, return it to the oven and check again in 15 minutes. Each octopus may have different cooking times, so test them both each time you remove the lid.
  4. Once tender, remove the octopus from the liquid and allow it to cool until you can handle it.
  5. Once cool, remove the tentacles from the head and lightly wipe away the excess albumen collected on the surface.
  6. Drizzle the cleaned tentacles with olive oil and place on a very hot grill until well charred and warmed through.
  7. Remove from the grill, slice into medallions, and serve immediately.

Hummus

  1. Combine the tahini, lemon juice, and warm water in a mixing bowl. Whisk until the mixture is fully combined and has the texture of pancake batter.
  2. Drizzle olive oil into the tahini mixture and add a large pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning with lemon juice and additional salt.
  3. Mix in the yogurt and cooked chickpeas, and lightly crush with your whisk.
  4. When ready to serve warm the mixture gently and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Pickled Onions

  1. Remove 1 cup of octopus braising liquid after 45 minutes of cooking. Ladle this hot liquid over the julienned red onion and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before using.

To serve, spoon the warm hummus onto the bottom of a serving platter. Top with slices of grilled octopus. Scatter herbs, olives, and capers over the top of the octopus. Zest one lemon over top, then slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over top as well. Finish the platter with a sprinkle of sea salt and a heavy pour of extra virgin olive oil.

Chef’s notes

This dish is inspired by an Atlanta chef named Pano Karatossos. His technique for braising and then grilling octopus creates perfectly tender meat while infusing aromatics and smoke into the finished product.

The dish is best when finished on a charcoal or a wood-burning grill, but in a pinch, gas will also work. It is extremely difficult to predict exactly how long the octopus will take to braise, so begin checking it after 45 minutes and remove it only once a metal skewer or small knife can easily pierce the meat.

Ingredients

Octopus

  • 2 whole octopus
  • 1 gal. red wine vinegar
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 2 tbsp. black peppercorns, whole
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 2 head garlic
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, halved

Hummus

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed into a paste
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 can chickpeas

Garnish

  • 1 bunch dill, picked into fronds
  • 1 bunch chives, sliced into 1-inch sticks
  • Flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
  • 2 tbsp. salt-packed capers, rinsed
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pits removed and halved
  • 1 red onion, julienned

Preparation

Octopus

  1. Preheat oven to 225°F and set up your grill for high heat.
  2. In a medium size stainless steel Dutch oven bring to a boil the vinegar, onion, peppercorns, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, and lemon. Add the octopus to the mixture and heat until it returns to a boil. Cover and place in the preheated oven.
  3. Check the octopus for tenderness starting at 45 minutes. If it needs more time, return it to the oven and check again in 15 minutes. Each octopus may have different cooking times, so test them both each time you remove the lid.
  4. Once tender, remove the octopus from the liquid and allow it to cool until you can handle it.
  5. Once cool, remove the tentacles from the head and lightly wipe away the excess albumen collected on the surface.
  6. Drizzle the cleaned tentacles with olive oil and place on a very hot grill until well charred and warmed through.
  7. Remove from the grill, slice into medallions, and serve immediately.

Hummus

  1. Combine the tahini, lemon juice, and warm water in a mixing bowl. Whisk until the mixture is fully combined and has the texture of pancake batter.
  2. Drizzle olive oil into the tahini mixture and add a large pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning with lemon juice and additional salt.
  3. Mix in the yogurt and cooked chickpeas, and lightly crush with your whisk.
  4. When ready to serve warm the mixture gently and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Pickled Onions

  1. Remove 1 cup of octopus braising liquid after 45 minutes of cooking. Ladle this hot liquid over the julienned red onion and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before using.

To serve, spoon the warm hummus onto the bottom of a serving platter. Top with slices of grilled octopus. Scatter herbs, olives, and capers over the top of the octopus. Zest one lemon over top, then slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over top as well. Finish the platter with a sprinkle of sea salt and a heavy pour of extra virgin olive oil.

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Greek-Style Grilled Octopus

Recipe by: Kevin Gillespie
Greek-Style Grilled Octopus
  • Duration

    2 hours

  • Serves

    4 to 6
Chef’s notes

This dish is inspired by an Atlanta chef named Pano Karatossos. His technique for braising and then grilling octopus creates perfectly tender meat while infusing aromatics and smoke into the finished product.

The dish is best when finished on a charcoal or a wood-burning grill, but in a pinch, gas will also work. It is extremely difficult to predict exactly how long the octopus will take to braise, so begin checking it after 45 minutes and remove it only once a metal skewer or small knife can easily pierce the meat.

Ingredients

Octopus

  • 2 whole octopus
  • 1 gal. red wine vinegar
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 2 tbsp. black peppercorns, whole
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 2 head garlic
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, halved

Hummus

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed into a paste
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 can chickpeas

Garnish

  • 1 bunch dill, picked into fronds
  • 1 bunch chives, sliced into 1-inch sticks
  • Flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
  • 2 tbsp. salt-packed capers, rinsed
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pits removed and halved
  • 1 red onion, julienned

Preparation

Octopus

  1. Preheat oven to 225°F and set up your grill for high heat.
  2. In a medium size stainless steel Dutch oven bring to a boil the vinegar, onion, peppercorns, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, and lemon. Add the octopus to the mixture and heat until it returns to a boil. Cover and place in the preheated oven.
  3. Check the octopus for tenderness starting at 45 minutes. If it needs more time, return it to the oven and check again in 15 minutes. Each octopus may have different cooking times, so test them both each time you remove the lid.
  4. Once tender, remove the octopus from the liquid and allow it to cool until you can handle it.
  5. Once cool, remove the tentacles from the head and lightly wipe away the excess albumen collected on the surface.
  6. Drizzle the cleaned tentacles with olive oil and place on a very hot grill until well charred and warmed through.
  7. Remove from the grill, slice into medallions, and serve immediately.

Hummus

  1. Combine the tahini, lemon juice, and warm water in a mixing bowl. Whisk until the mixture is fully combined and has the texture of pancake batter.
  2. Drizzle olive oil into the tahini mixture and add a large pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning with lemon juice and additional salt.
  3. Mix in the yogurt and cooked chickpeas, and lightly crush with your whisk.
  4. When ready to serve warm the mixture gently and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Pickled Onions

  1. Remove 1 cup of octopus braising liquid after 45 minutes of cooking. Ladle this hot liquid over the julienned red onion and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before using.

To serve, spoon the warm hummus onto the bottom of a serving platter. Top with slices of grilled octopus. Scatter herbs, olives, and capers over the top of the octopus. Zest one lemon over top, then slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over top as well. Finish the platter with a sprinkle of sea salt and a heavy pour of extra virgin olive oil.