Italian octopus salad

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Do you want to enjoy a fresh summer fish salad? Then let the Mediterranean flavors of this octopus salad take you back to your seaside holiday. This really is a delicious fish dish that everyone will love.

There’s more than one way to prepare octopus salad but in every version you’ll find parsley and good quality olive oil which gives an extra special flavor to the dish.



If the octopus has only one row of suckers then it is a white-spotted octopus or musky octopus, two members of the mollusk family that are often sold as substitutes but are of an inferior quality compared to octopus;


The freezing process tenderizes the octopus flesh after it’s been defrosted, so if you can’t get hold of fresh octopus you can always use frozen;


Fresh octopus needs to be tenderized in order to soften the meat and then the eyes, beak and insides must be removed. Once it’s been cleaned and rinsed it’s ready for cooking.


Octopus can be cooked in boiling water for 30 minutes per 500g or in a pressure cooker reducing the cooking time by at least half or by placing it in a large pan with a little oil, garlic and salt and leaving it to cook in its own juices at a very low temperature for a prolonged period. With all three methods let the octopus rest in its own juices until it has cooled which will keep the meat tender. “Octopus is cooked in its own water”, goes the old saying!

Ingredients for 4 people

    • 1kg octopus
    • 1 clove of garlic
    • Parsley (as much as is needed)
    • 2 chili peppers
    • 2 celery sticks
    • 1 lemon
    • Salt
    • Pepper

Italian octopus salad – the recipe

What you need for 4 people
1 kg of octopus
1 clove of garlic
2 chillies
2 stalks of celery
1 lemon


  1. Clean the octopus and then cook in boiling water until the meat becomes white and tender.
  2. Leave the octopus to cool in the cooking water and once it’s cooled, drain and cut into small pieces without removing the outer skin or suckers.
  3. Season the octopus with the chopped parsley, extra virgin olive oil, chopped celery, chopped chilies and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Leave the salad to marinate for a couple of hours and serve cold as a starter or main course.

Preparation time: 4 hours

Tips and tricks for a perfect Italian octopus salad

  • You can also use black olives or finely sliced orange to give a distinctive taste to the salad.
  • Once prepared, the salad should be consumed within 24 hours so the octopus doesn’t lose flavor. If there’s any left over, keep it in the refrigerator and remove a few minutes before serving (in any case within 36 hours).
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Categories: Healthy recipes, Traditional Italian recipes
Article written by Veruska Anconitano aka La Cuochina Sopraffina


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