Rick Stein's octopus salad with spring onions and peppers (pulpo vinagreta)

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Serves 6 as a starter

Rick Stein's octopus salad with spring onions and peppers (pulpo vinagreta). Photo / Supplied
Rick Stein's octopus salad with spring onions and peppers (pulpo vinagreta). Photo / Supplied

"I had this as a first course in a very everyday sort of restaurant in the fishing village of Santona, near Laredo in Cantabria. I love going into somewhere you'd never find in a food guide where the food is simple, local stuff. I also find this sort of restaurant in northern Spain quite charming because they are decorated, or rather over-decorated, in a style that suits the whims of the owners.

"In this case the owner was obviously a massive fan of hunting. There were pictures of shooting and fishing on every wall, guns everywhere, stuffed heads, and trophies all over the place. This salad, made with just a few local ingredients - red and green peppers, spring and red onions, a little garlic and olive oil - seemed entirely appropriate and rather a good way of serving sliced octopus."

450-500g cooked octopus
Half a red onion (approx. 75g)
75g piece (about 1/2) seeded red pepper
75g piece (about 1/2) seeded green pepper
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and thickly sliced on the diagonal
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
120ml extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crusty fresh bread, to serve

1. Cut the octopus into bite-sized pieces: the tentacles into slices about 7-8mm thick, and the head into similar-sized pieces.

2. Cut the red onion lengthways into arc-shaped slices. Cut the red and green pepper lengthways into slices then across into small chunky pieces. Put the octopus into a large mixing bowl with the red onion, peppers and spring onions.

3. Whisk vinegar, oil, garlic, 1 tsp of salt and some pepper in a small bowl, pour over the octopus and vegetables and stir well. Serve with crusty bread.

- NZ Herald

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