This past summer was a busy one filled with Greek Supper Clubs and catering dinner parties. I love entertaining and now that it’s become a full-time job, I get to try many of the ideas I have swirling in my head.
Greek loves octopus and we cook/prepare it in many ways but my favourite is stilled grilled. When one buys octopus in the markets, chances are it’s frozen and that is perfectly fine. Defrost it overnight then tenderize it by braise on slow heat until just fork tender then you can finish off the the octopus is many ways.
I like grilled best – you get the crisp, charred texture on the outside and then a tender, meaty center that if cooked properly, you could probably cut with a butter knife.
Next time you’re entertaining, why not try to serve octopus on skewers? Simply dress the tentacles with some oil, lightly salt and place on a white-hot grill so that it develops a nice char on the outside.
Take the tentacles off the grill, cut into bite-sized pieces and skewer them. You can dress with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice or good red wine vinegar and dried Greek oregano or whip up this Greek-style Chimchurri, which complements grilled octopus and even grilled meats like steak or chicken.
Chimichurri sauce has its origins Argentina, where they whip up a green sauce with garlic, herbs (like parsley) and serve alongside grilled steak. I’ve made a Greek style version and it’s a big hit whenever I serve it.
Octopus Souvlaki Meze With Greek-Style Chimichurri
(serves 4-6 as appetizer)
Greek- Style Chimichurri
6-8 jarred grape leaves, rinsed
1/2 cup of rinsed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp. dried Greek oregano
3-4 scallions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 carrot, grated
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
water (if necessary to thin out)
For the Octopus
1 whole octopus (about 1 kg.) braised to tender as per my directions
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- Rinse and pat-dry your cleaned squid (tentacles and tubes) and place in bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Set aside.
- In your blender/food processor, add your Chimichurri ingredients in and process until smooth. Adjust seasoning (it should be slightly tangy) and add some water if the sauce is too thick (optional).
- Pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill to high. Toss the tentacles in some olive oil and then grill on all sides. Remove from the grill and season with salt and pepper, dried Greek oregano.
- Slice into bite-sized pieces and afix on skewers. Spoon and swoosh some sauce on a plate and place octopus on top. Serve with Alpha Estate Malagouzia.
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