Tender boiled octopus brightened with a lemony dressing is a Venetian cicheti staple. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue, with Dana Bowen's story Good and Plenty.
Octopus Salad (Insalata di Polpo)
Tender boiled octopus brightened with a lemony dressing is a Venetian cicheti staple.
Yield: serves 6
4 lb. cleaned frozen octopus, thawed and rinsed
1 1⁄4 cups olive oil
1⁄3 cup kosher salt, plus more
6 tbsp. crushed red chile flakes
1⁄2 cup finely chopped parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 rib celery, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place octopus, 1⁄2 cup oil, salt, and chile flakes in an 8-qt. saucepan, cover with water by 1", and boil; cook until tender, 2-3 hours. Drain octopus; discard head, and peel off skin. Cut tentacles into 1" pieces. Transfer to a bowl; toss with remaining oil, parsley, garlic, celery, juice, and salt and pepper. Cover; let sit for 1 hour to blend flavors.