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Octopus and the salad of octopus cooking techniques

by Ada Parisi
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Polpo all'insalata e tecniche di cottura del polpo

Today a recipe and many tips: octopus to the salad and the best cooking techniques for a smooth and flavorful octopus. all'insalata the octopus is one of the starters of the most classic and beloved sea of ​​Italian cuisine. Is’ a cross recipe that we find in all seaside towns, from Sicily to Sardinia through Puglia, Liguria,, Campania. But before I tell you about this recipe, moreover easy, I want to talk a little’ the octopus and the main cooking techniques to get an octopus hard but tender. Just remember that to prepare the octopus for the salad it takes only 3 ingredients of the highest quality: the Octopus, dry potato and not floury and excellent extra virgin olive oil. If you want to pick any, have a look at all my RECIPES WITH THE OCTOPUS.

What is the octopus and nutritional characteristics

The Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) is a cephalopod mollusk from the Octopodidae family, as octopus, cuttlefish and squid. He lives in most of the world's seas and also in the Mediterranean Sea. Unlike the octopus, who are the closest relatives, the octopus can reach large tentacles and a double row of suckers. While the octopus have one. The octopus has eight tentacles gathered around a large head, and beak with which the octopus feeds is at the center of the body. As with other cephalopods, organs are all located in the head, including ink bladder, that the octopus does leak out when it feels threatened.

The octopus can reach up to 9 meters, but the most suitable one to be cooked to perfection is the smallest octopus, about 50-60 centimeters wide. In this case, the meat is firm but soft and tasty.

The octopus is also low in calories, just 75 per 100 grams, It has very little fat and is a good source of protein. When you choose to buy the octopus, check that your skin is shiny, compact and adherent and that of sea scents.

The octopus is well suited to freezing, often it used in the case of large octopus in order to break the fibers and make them more tender: wash before freezing. You always need to thaw in the refrigerator octopus (place in refrigerator overnight) before cooking the way you like. Remember that the octopus should be thoroughly washed before cooking.

Here are the main cooking techniques to get into the house a tender and flavorful octopus

  • Boiled in water

The cooking of the most widespread is the octopus in boiling water. Dip the octopus three times in boiling water by holding the head. Like this, the tentacles curl and be more aesthetically beautiful to look. You can flavor the water with a bay leaf and a piece of lemon peel. salt lightly. You can also add 150 milliliters of white wine to the octopus cooking water. An octopus weighing a kilo must cook for 20 minutes: The basic phase is then cooling: cover the pot and let cool octopus in its water. When the octopus is completely cold, you can proceed to cut it in the case to pass him or salad with tomato as in the recipe of OCTOPUS IN TOMATO SAUCE WITH CAPERS AND OLIVES.

  • Cotto waterless

This is the type of cooking you prefer: octopus contains a lot of water, more than sufficient to allow a complete cooking without the need to add other. Put the octopus in a large saucepan, cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Already after the first few minutes you will see that the octopus will start to release its own water. In this case, no need to add salt, because this type of cooking preserves the natural flavor of the octopus. Even in this case, Once cooked, let cool octopus in its water. This is a cooking technique that I prefer for the salad or octopus ALLA CATALAN.

  • In the pressure cooker

Cooking in a pressure cooker is quick and easy: put the octopus in the pot without water and without salt and cook for 15 minutes. Once vented, do not open the lid and, As always, let cool completely octopus. If you want, you can cook in a pressure cooker slightly fried with shallots, celery, carrots and herbs, add the octopus, continuing to cook as indicated.

  • Grilled octopus or fried

The grilled octopus and fried octopus are perfect for creating modern dishes. In both cases, you must first blanch the octopus by dipping it into hot water for 15 minutes and let it cool in its water. Once cooked, you can cut into pieces, grease it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and cook it in a very hot plate for 3-4 minutes per side, as in my OCTOPUS WITH ROASTED BEAN CREAM. In the case of fried octopus, instead, after blanched and cut into pieces, you can pass it in a batter made of flour and water as the COD’ FRIED ROMAN, or you can impanarlo into flour, egg and bread crumbs as in my RECIPE OCTOPUS FRIED. And after seeing the octopus cooking techniques we now see how to make the salad octopus.

Polpo all'insalata e tecniche di cottura del polpo


Portions: 4 Preparation: cooking:
Nutrition facts: 250 calories 20 fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


a two-pound octopus

800 grams of potatoes

fresh parsley, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

a clove of garlic

extra virgin olive oil, to taste

a lemon


Polpo all'insalata e tecniche di cottura del polpo

Octopus all'insalata with potatoes

First boil the potatoes in salted water. When they are cooked (stuck a toothpick in the center of the potato) remove the potatoes from the water and let them cool completely. Potatoes need to cool down in order to cut them without them falling apart. Once the potatoes are cold, cut into small pieces.

Put the octopus in a large saucepan, cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until, inserting a fork in the thickest part of the octopus, It will not be soft. Once the octopus is cooked, let it cool in its water, always covered. Once the octopus will be cold, cut into pieces.

Finely chop the parsley and the garlic (If you like, otherwise omettetelo). Place in a large bowl the potatoes and octopus into small pieces, add chopped parsley and garlic and season with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. Taste to make sure the octopus salad with potatoes is savory and add fresh ground black pepper and some lemon juice. Serve the octopus salad with potatoes along with a lemon cut into wedges. Bon appétit!


MATCHING: Cesenatico's canal, Sangiovese Rosato, Rubicon Igt, produced by Leonardo da Vinci wineries. Cherry, fishing and apricot are the prevailing scents of this rosé wine that, on the palate, it's fresh, savory and vivid.

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Laura 17 May 2020 - 14:55

Hi Ada, today I made the octopus in salad , cooked without water , very good but above all very easy, Thanks.
A few days ago I made the cream and strawberry tart , the exquisite cream , the shortcrust pastry also taste , but after lying it down with the rolling pin I couldn't transfer it to the pan , broke down . I had to spread it by hand in the pan , what I did wrong , in your opinion ?

Ada Parisi 17 May 2020 - 22:06

Hello Laura, thank you! For the shortbread, since each flour has a different degree of liquid absorption, it's possible that yours needs a few ounces of extra milk or water, so the dough maybe it was a little bit’ dry. Just add a little’ liquid so that it is more tied. A warm greeting, ADA


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