Grilled Octopus Citrus Fennel Salad

Grilled Octopus Fennel Citrus Salad Recipe | Dine X Design

Grilled Octopus Fennel Citrus Salad Recipe | Dine X Design

Sunday afternoon is my jam.

It's a day where happy hour at home feels right. A time away from the errands, the emails and a moment to just sink into a state of relaxation before being flung into the (hopefully not too hectic) start of the week.  Sunday afternoon is the time to whip up small bites, pour a crisp glass of wine and enjoy the late summer sun on the front stoop with the mister and a few friends.

One of my favorite summer dishes is a bright fennel salad topped with smokey charred octopus. And after enjoying this dish at several local spots, I thought it was time to bring matters into my own hands and recreate the recipe - you know, share the love...because everyone needs this in their summer-lovin' life.

Grilled Octopus Citrus Fennel Salad


Charred Octopus (directions below)

1 Fennel bulb finely sliced with a mandoline

1/2 Orange, de-segmented and coarsely chopped

1/2 Pink grapefruit de-segmented and coarsely chopped

3/4 cup Green olives coarsely chopped

1 bunch Flat Parsley 

coarsely chopped

2 Pickled Red chilies coarsely chopped (directions below)

Chives finely chopped for finishing 

White Balsamic Vinaigrette (directions below) 

Grilled Octopus Salad Prep | Dine X Design

Grilled Octopus Salad Prep | Dine X Design

Dressing Ingredients:

4-5 TBS

Rosato vinaigrette


White Balsamic

Drizzle of Exta Virgin Olive oil

1 TBS pink grapefruit juice

1 TBS orange juice

Salad Directions: 

In advance, finely mandoline 2 fresh red peppers and quick pickle in rosato vinaigrette or white balsamic. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. Dissect small pieces from both the orange and pink grapefruit and set aside. With a mandoline, finely slice the fennel and add onto serving plate. Top with roughly chopped parsley, halved green olives, pickled red peppers, and citrus. Drizzle with vinaigrette and add 2 charred octopus legs before serving.

Octopus Prep | Dine X Design

Octopus Prep | Dine X Design

Octopus Ingredients

Whole defrosted octopus

½ white onion

2 celery ribs

2 carrots

Small handful flat parsley

4 cloves garlic

Tsp peppercorns

½ lemon cut into wedges

½ cup water

To Prepare the octopus: 

Add all the above ingredients to a large pot. On medium high, simmer until tender 45 - 90 minutes (check after 30 minutes and every 10 minutes after). Remove from pot and bring octopus to room temp. Cut legs from the body, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper then grill on the bbq until slightly blackened. Approx 3-4 minutes.

Summer Wine Paring | Dine X Design

Summer Wine Paring | Dine X Design

The salad is incredibly complex with flavors and texture. The tangy dressing gets lifted with notes of spicy chilies and salty olives. The citrus cuts and adds an extra note of freshness to the charred octopus. Is it possible to have a crush on a dish because...done!

I paired this summer plate with a sweet vinho verde that is crisp, bright and not too sweet. The slight effervescence really adds to the playfulness of the dish and is quite refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. This is truly the happiest of hours -  In fact I could enjoy this combo every week until Autumn kicks us out!

Grilled Octopus Salad Recipe | Dine X Design

Grilled Octopus Salad Recipe | Dine X Design

If the task of cleaning and boiling your own whole octopus freaks you out a little - Don't fret! We know it's intense. Most Japanese markets have pre-cooked tentacles ready for you to pop onto the grill...or you can check with your local specialty market to cook one up for you in advance.

If you want to steer clear from our 8 legged friend worries! Try this salad with grilled shrimp or white fish, it's even 100% fantastic on its own without a protein...just don't forget the wine.

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