Marinated Octopus w/ Eggplant Caviar

Serves 18-20 as an appetizer


To Cook Octopus

  • 4-5 lb octopus
  • 3 oz prosciutto
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ bunch celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp paprika

Eggplant Caviar

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 bunch basil, chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

For Assembly

  • salt
  • pepper
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil


Braise Octopus

  1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients for cooking the octopus -- except the octopus -- and bring to boil. Reduce & simmer for 30 minutes
  2. Reduce the cooking liquid temperature to 180º - 190º
  3. Add octopus and cook low and slow for 2 - 2½ hours
  4. Remove from liquid and allow to cool

Eggplant caviar

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Wrap eggplant in aluminum foil and roast for 45-60 minutes. Remove and allow to cool
  3. Cut the eggplant in half and remove pulp. Chop and allow the pulp to drain of excess liquid - this can be done by placing in a fine-mesh strainer and lightly pressing the pulp to release the liquid, or by placing in a piece of cheesecloth and squeezing over a sink
  4. Mix with the rest of the ingredients, and season with salt and pepper as desired

Assemble Dish

  1. Remove and discard head. Slice the cooled octopus' tentacles into small pieces. 
  2. Add sliced octopus to a large bowl with eggplant caviar, sun-dried tomato, chives, olive oil, vinegar and toasted pine nuts
  3. Serve as a chilled salad with bread or crackers on the side, or on crostini as an appetizer