Charred octopus Warm White Bean and Tomato Salad and Guanciale Vinaigrette recipe from Cooking with cocktail rings

Charred Octopus with Warm White Bean and Tomato Salad and Guanciale Vinaigrette

This Italian-style appetizer combines charred octopus with a warm bean and cherry tomato salad tossed in a vinaigrette made from the rendered fat of the guanciale (an Italian cured meat from pork jowls).

While octopus may seem like a restaurant-only dish, it’s actually not that difficult to prepare at home. The octopus in this recipe is slowly cooked using the sous vide method. Utilizing an immersion circulator to precisely control the temperature of the water bath, the octopus is cooked in a vacuum-sealed bag, which keeps the juices in the meat since it has nowhere else to go. The octopus is then charred in a cast iron pan, resulting in firm but tender octopus with a smoky exterior.

When buying octopus, look for frozen octopus rather than fresh. This is one of the few instances where frozen is better than fresh because freezing it actually works to tenderize the meat. While an octopus may seem larger when you are buying it, keep in mind that it cooks down and will reduce in size significantly. I get my fresh seafood from a local store, Santa Monica Seafood, as it has a great selection of fish with plenty of sustainable options. Click the link here for an exclusive coupon for your next order from Santa Monica Seafood!

 

Ingredients:

For the octopus:

3 pounds octopus, cleaned, head and beak (if still attached) removed

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste  

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

 

For the guanciale vinaigrette:

4 ounces diced guanciale

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

For serving:

1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 cup cooked cannellini beans

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

 

Instructions:

For the octopus:

Set the immersion circulator to 180ºF. Season the octopus with salt and pepper then add it to a large vacuum seal bag. Vacuum seal the bag then submerge in the immersion circulator for 4 hours to sous vide.

Remove the octopus from the water bath then discard the cooking liquid and rub the cooked octopus dry with paper towels. Separate tentacles and cut into equal lengths.

Use a pastry brush to coat the octopus in the olive oil. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the octopus to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until charred, about 8 minutes. 

 

For the guanciale vinaigrette:

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the guanciale and sauté until fat has rendered and the meat is crispy. Remove the guanciale from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and reserve the rendered fat in a medium heat-proof mixing bowl.

Whisk the fat with the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and red pepper until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

For serving:

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the tomatoes and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the white beans and cooked guanciale, tossing to combine. Toss the mixture with half the vinaigrette and cook for an additional minute.

Plate the bean and tomato mixture on a platter and top with the parsley and the octopus. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the remaining dressing over the top and serve immediately.

 

Serves 4 as an appetizer.



This post is sponsored by Santa Monica Seafood, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

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