This is a much anticipated dish, part of the various, seasonal meze we serve during the welcome dinner for our Kea Artisanal guests. It is quite easy to prepare, as you can blanch the octopus and keep in the marinade for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Just before serving heat the broiler or fire the BBQ and grill briefly over very high heat, just to caramelize the skin.
Serves 6-8 as meze
2 pounds octopus (cleaned by your fishmonger), fresh or frozen
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup red wine
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or freshly ground black pepper
1-2 lemons, quartered for serving
If using fresh octopus, wash it well and place in a large nonreactive pot. (The octopus releases water as it cooks, so there is no need to add any.) Cook over medium heat for 10-20 minutes, or until the octopus changes color and curls up. If using frozen octopus, place it in the pot directly from the freezer and cook over low heat, turning frequently, until it curls up. Increase the heat to high and cook to evaporate most of the liquid.
Marinate the octopus: Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or baking dish. Cut and separate the eight legs of the blanched octopus, place in the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight and up to 3 days.
Drain the octopus and pat dry.
If you like, cook the marinade over medium–high heat, until reduced to 1 cup.
Brush the octopus with olive oil and grill (or broil) for 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Cut into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with the reduced marinade, if you like, and serve with lemon wedges.