GREEK BBQ OCTOPUS
I spoke to a nephew of mine about his grandfather (my father's older brother) who lived on the Greek island of Paros. He was a quiet man that loved his island and all it had to offer. He grew his own vegetables and went fishing and hunting for octopus. My nephew told me he made his own spear that was about 2 meters long and would walk the clear crystal Mediterranean waters looking for octopus. Apparently he was quite an expert at finding them. He would look for the trail of food they would leave behind such as leftover worms, crabs, prawns and clams. He would follow this trail which would eventually lead to where an octopus would be laying. He never dived his entire body and head under the ocean water but instead used the long hand made spear to capture. Once he caught a couple, he would slap and beat the octopuses against the rocks until it's tense muscles were relaxed. This process would tenderise the meat. He knew it was tender enough when the tentacles and body changed to a shade of white. I remember meeting him when I traveled to Paros at the age of 7 with my parents. He cooked octopus for us. What I remember most vividly was the olive oil and lemon dressing he generously drizzled over the hot charcoaled octopus and the delicious aroma that drifted towards me once the dressing was poured over it. My brain has always been able to 'taste' food purely from smell.
Well I am unable to catch a fresh octopus but I can tell you how to cook one on the BBQ and make sure it is tender. Most importantly don’t forget to drizzle that cold pressed olive oil and whole fresh lemon juice all over once its on the plate. YUM! Enjoy x
2 medium size Octopus each around 250-300g
2 tbs olive oil + extra to drizzle
Sea salt, pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
3 tsp dried oregano.
1. The first thing is to clean the Octopus. Then cut the arms off the body and then into individual strips. Secondly you need to 'peel' the Octopus. It has a layer of brown skin that you will need to use your fingertips and nails to literally peel off as much as you can (except off the suckers side of the arms).
2. Once you have done this, wash and pat dry it and place into a deep bowl. Add the olive oil, seasoning, oregano and thyme and using your hands rub it into the Octopus. Allow to sit on the bench for 10-15 minutes. Do not put it into the fridge.
3. Prepare the BBQ at maximum heat and place the Octopus on for 4 minutes on one side and then 3 minutes on the second side.
Serve hot immediately with a good squeeze of lemon (use a whole lemon), cold pressed olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
It is a favourite to serve to family and friends while we are out back enjoying a wine or beer during a beautiful sunny day. Hope you all enjoy it. A simple recipe, uncomplicated, delicious and oh so good.