Having bought a 2 lb whole boiled and frozen octopus (which is a small octopus) from Fish-For-Sushi in preparation for the New Year, I had to make some effort to finish it before it went bad. We had dinner guests a few days before new year. Although they were not known to enjoy an octopus, I decided to take a chance and serve Carpaccio of octopus.
When I made salmon gravlax, I bought navel oranges which turned out to be very sweet and juicy—the best oranges we have had for some time. So I decided to use the orange fruit as well as a bit of it’s juice.
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
Sweet onion: one medium, thinly sliced in rings using a Japanese Mandoline (Benriner)
Boiled octopus legs: 2 thinly sliced on bias.
Navel orange: one large, fruit separated from membrane and cut into small chunks
Watercress: remove thick stalks
Olive oil: Good fruity extra-virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar: Aged sweet syrupy one
Salt and pepper (I used smoked sea salt).
In a small serving dish, I freshly cracked some smoked sea salt. Then, I drizzled on lines of olive oil. I repeated the process this time with balsamic vinegar which I drizzled in lines perpendicular to the ones I made with the olive oil to form an olive oil, balsamic vinegar grid on the plate. I then scattered thinly sliced onion. I placed the slices of the octopus to cover the entire center portion of the plate. I added the orange chunks, more slices of onion, and then the watercress. I drizzled lines of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the top, and sprinkled on the juice of the orange, salt and pepper.
This was a great hit. Our guests had never had octopus before. They guessed that the octopus was a “protein” but did not know what it was. We had this with champagne.