Braised Octopus with Chickpea Salad and Salsa Verde
- Tentacles from one 4-to 6-pound fresh octopus
- 1 cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- A few sprigs fresh parsley (can also use basil or oregano)
- A few sprigs fresh thyme (can also use basil or oregano)
- 4 cups fresh or canned cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 small red onion or 1/2 large red onion, sliced
- 1/2 poblano pepper, minced
- Zest of one lemon, plus 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- Zest of one orange, plus 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped romaine hearts
- 1 cup arugula
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
For the octopus: Fill a large pot about 2/3 full with water and bring to a boil. Blanch the octopus by placing it in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and set aside.
Drain the water or in another large pot, add the vinegar, wine, cinnamon, star anise, peppercorns, fennel seeds, bay leaf and a few sprigs each fresh parsley and thyme and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the octopus. Cover and cook until fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
For the chickpea salad: Reheat the chickpeas in a medium pot over medium heat and keep warm. Prior to serving, remove from the heat and toss with the red onion, poblano, lemon zest and juice, lime juice, orange zest and juice, olive oil, romaine, arugula and chopped basil.
For the salsa verde: Roughly chop the basil, parsley and garlic and add to a small food processor or blender. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing until the ingredients are well combined and have a smooth consistency that is not too liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the salsa verde over the chickpea salad and octopus.