Grilled Octopus w/ Fennel Salad


For the Octopus

  • 5 lb octopus, cleaned & tenderized
  • 5 gallons water, heated to 200º
  • 1 lemon, halved & juiced
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 lime, halved & juiced
  • 1 orange, halved & juiced
  • 1 large Spanish onion, rough chopped
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • ½ cup kosher salt

For the Marinade

  • enough extra virgin olive oil to cover octopus (1-2 liters)
  • juice & zest of 4 oranges
  • juice & zest of 3 limes
  • juice & zest of 1 lemon
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • ½ cup kosher salt

For the Salad

  • 1 fennel bulb with fronds
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • rind of 1 preserved lemon, sliced (optional)
  • 1 bunch micro cilantro leaves (or greens of choice)
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Special Equipment

  • temperature gun or candy thermometer
  • microplane/zester
  • stove-top grill/griddle


Cook & Marinate Octopus

  1. Into a pot of heated water, add the fruit juices and the squeezed fruits, garlic, onion, rosemary, thyme, white wine and kosher salt
  2. Add the octopus to the pot and return to stove top over low to medium heat, allowing to cook gently for 1½ - 2 hours at 200º (do not allow water to rise above 200º), until tender
  3. While octopus is cooking, in a large separate bowl or container, combine the ingredients for the marinade. Make sure this is completed before the octopus is done cooking
  4. Remove octopus from hot water when ready and transfer immediately to the marinade to cool so it absorbs all of the flavors
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight

Make Fennel Salad

  1. Cut fennel very thinly, removing the core and reserving the fronds
  2. Mix fennel and fronds in a bowl with other salad ingredients
  3. Marinate overnight or at a minimum for several minutes

Grill Octopus & Serve

  1. Heat a clean stove-top grill/griddle on high (or outdoor grill) and brush with oil so that the octopus will not stick to it
  2. Remove octopus from marinade (the oil can be strained and kept in the refrigerator for re-use in paella and other savory dishes)
  3. Cut the tentacles off of octopus and slice into 2” - 3” pieces, slice the head into strips and season with kosher salt
  4. Grill each piece for 3 - 4 minutes per side
  5. Remove to a serving platter and serve with the Fennel Salad. Garnish with additional chopped preserved lemon peel and drizzle with oil marinade if desired