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  • Writer's pictureNikki Glekas

Grilled Octopus

I had a lot of fun making this episode because I was finally able to demystify how to make Grilled Octopus. Octopus is a very common food in Greece. It’s plentiful in the waters surrounding the country and is often able to be purchased inexpensively. I really love to order it as much as possible when I’m there! Octopus is more expensive in America, so I definitely understand that this is not a dish people will make weekly. However, when you are ready to splurge, here’s how you handle it from the beginning.

First, remember that Octopus shrinks a lot when it is cooked. Therefore, don’t be worried when you buy one that looks enormous. You have to cut the tentacles and head for eating, but discard the mouth completely. Then, you focus on tenderizing the meat by simmering it on the stovetop and letting it dry before grilling it. This is really matter of watching the time on the timer while it simmers aways. It’s not hard and simply takes time on the clock

Once the octopus is tenderized and dried you can grill it. Remember, by the time the octopus is off the stovetop it is completely cooked, so grilling is more for the char marks and flavor. Once it is grilled you can serve it on top of the salad, or however you’d like. I like to serve it with a light dressing and on a bed of greens, but you could really serve it any way you’d like.

This dish is very popular in my restaurants in the summer, but customers always express how wary they are of trying to make it at home. I really hope this video shows you that it actually isn’t that hard at all. I encourage you to give this a try when you are ready, it’s a fun recipe that everyone truly enjoys!

Grilled Octopus

You see this a lot on restaurant menus, but few people prepare this at home. I encourage you to try it because it is very easy and makes a nice, healthy meal for your family and friends.

Serves 6-8

  • 3.5 pounds Portuguese Octopus

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 tsp peppercorns

  • 3 whole cloves

  • ¼ cup white vinegar

  • 2 large handfuls of baby arugula

  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic Glaze (or use Balsamic Vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1-2 tablespoons of capers

  1. Cut each octopus tentacle, cut the mouth out and discard, and cut the head in half.

  2. Place all the pieces in a pot with the bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves.

  3. Cover the pot and cook it over low heat for about an hour, the octopus will release the juices and become nice and tender.

  4. After an hour, add ¼ cup of vinegar to the pot. Return the cover to the pot and cook it for an additional 30 minutes until tender.

  5. Remove the octopi’s pieces to a wire rack fitted over a rimmed baking sheet to cool.

  6. Warm a grill to high heat and place the cooked octopus on the grill. Grill each side for 3-4 minutes so each piece has grill marks. Remove from the heat.

  7. Cut the cooled pieces at an angle at 1-inch or so thick.

  8. Place arugula on a platter and the cut octopus on top.

  9. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

  10. Drizzle with dressing on top and sprinkle the capers over everything for garnish.

Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact or call 203.658.8659.

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