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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Endive Salad with Octopus and Feta

GLUTEN-FREE  |  DAIRY-FREE  |  DETOX-FRIENDLY  |  GRAIN-FREE 


Bitter leafy green vegetables are in season now and they are so good for us. They're on my list of the top 12 detox foods and good sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Curly endive -- also known as frisée -- adds structure to this dish, supporting dense chunks of octopus, feta cheese, olives, and cherry tomatoes.  Serve this colorful salad as a colorful starter or a light but filling main dish.

Cooking octopus and making it tender is easy if you have a pressure cooker (directions below). As an alternative You may be able to find cooked octopus sliced into rounds at your local grocer or fish monger.

For maximum flavor, I marinated the octopus in lime juice, minced red onion, and minced fresh chili peppers. This step is optional but it does add flavor, so do it if you can.

Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups chopped cooked octopus (see cooking note below)
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground peppercorn
  • 1 cup cubed feta cheese
  • 1 cup halved, pitted Kalamata olives (or other olives)
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 organic lemon
  • Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
  1. Cook the octopus for 15 minutes in a pressure cooker according to manufacturer instructions, then transfer the octopus to a plate to cool. 
  2. Once the octopus is cool enough to handle, use a sharp kitchen shears to cut off the legs. Cut each leg into bite-size pieces. Cut the head off the octopus and cut that into bite-size pieces as well. Trim as much tender meat as you can from the middle part, avoiding the hard beak in the center. Discard the beak or save it for making seafood broth. Reserve 2 cups of chopped octopus for this salad.
  3. If you're cooking the octopus ahead of time, marinate the bite-sized pieces in lime juice and any other aromatics like minced red onion and fresh chili pepper.
  4. To make the salad, add the tomatoes to a large bowl and season them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the feta, olives, scallions, cilantro, and dill. If your lemon is organic, zest it into the bowl. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze some of the juice over the salad mixture. Drizzle some olive oil over as well. Toss everything together, then taste it for seasoning and make any necessary adjustments. 
  5. Serve immediately. 


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