Roasted Octopus with Lemon & Rosemary
Lately, I’ve grown a real fascination for octopus. Before, I used to dislike everything about it. Before… the idea of eating tentacles, its texture, the raw slippery beast even on market stalls…I could not really imagine myself touching any ‘polpo’ and therefore even less to get it out from the fishmonger shopping bag.
And I don’t why, suddenly it clicked ! I think everything started with a beautiful still life and chiaroscuro picture of an octopus and the willing to try and cook it overcame doubts and prejudices. You should have seen me holding the octopus with both hands to photograph it and to place it in this beautiful japanese raku bowl ! What a beauty! What an honor to cook such a beautiful thing, how lucky I am to find this quality and freshness at my local market !
My love who hunts always says you should show respect to the game after killing it. I’ve used all my patience and great manners to picture it, only using high-quality ingredients such as organic lemons, fresh rosemary or even some organic olive oil with a subtle provence tomato twist. The final result was more than divine.
And there I am, ordering more octopus to my fishmonger so I can cook some more. I’m so privileged, he books octopus just for me (how chic is that?). Next Sunday, I’ll cook some more for my family… funny how tastes change!
Eccolo il polpo !
- one large octopus (careful, it tends to shrink when cooked), cleaned by the fishmonger
- 2 organic lemons, sliced
- a handful fresh rosemary
- Guérande salt
- 1/2 cup organic olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, unpeeled
- Start by freezing the octopus for few days (it needs to be really frozen). It will help soften its texture and make it less chewy
- In a large pan with water, place the unfrozen octopus with the onion
- Let the octopus cook in boiling water till the heart of the onion is tender (use a knife to check); drain and set aside
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- In an oven dish, place the octopus cut into small chunks (you can cut it again afterwards) with olive oil, fresh rosemary and lemon slices
- Leave to roast till the octopus chunks are slightly carameliz
ed; I always check once and a while and open the oven to taste and check the texture
- Season to taste and serve hot or cold