Octopus ‘a la plancha’, Cherry Tomato, Capers, Dill.

This is a dish inspired by my travels in Spain, and also Croatia. Octopus is quite sought after in these parts of the world and this is a simple delicious dish. Choose a large, fleshy octopus with its skin intact. If not available fresh, frozen octopus is ok as unlike fish its cell structures do not break down the same on freezing; but it does need to be purchased uncooked.
Octopus ‘a la plancha’, Cherry Tomato, Capers, Dill.

Ingredients and Methods

The Octopus:

  • 1 x Octopus about 1.5 – 2kg
  • 1 x large pot of well seasoned water
  • 1 x lemon

Blanch the octopus twice in the boiling water for 2 minutes, each time refreshing in iced water. After blanching the tentacles will have curled up and you can cut them into 8 individual tentacles. At the restaurant we cook the octopus under vacuum (sous vide) at 75® for around 8 hours. We do this for a uniformed cooking and appearance, however, just as tasty results are possible at home and it will take much less time. Return the octopus to the same water but at a really slow simmer. It should be cooked after an hour, but depending on size it can take quite a bit longer, just keep simmering until it should be soft and tender all the way through and not springy.

Once cooked, place on a tray and chill. The chilled octopus is ready to cook on the ‘plancha’ [flat topped grill]. You can also use a large frying pan. Use high heat, a suitable cooking oil, fry the tentacles until the surface is crisp and golden.

The tomato, caper & dill sauce:

  • 1 x Spanish onion, diced
  • 20ml x sunflower oil
  • 4 x garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 x cherry tomato punnet
  • 40g x capers
  • ¼ bunch fresh dill
  • 1 x tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 20ml x olive oil

Sweat onions & garlic in the sunflower oil until soft. Add tomato paste, capers, cherry tomatoes, and cook over a moderate heat. The tomato skins will burst but as they are young they are usually quite soft and tender. Once most of the ‘juice’ has evaporated, add the dill and olive oil, season to taste.

Plate: x 6

Place tomato compote equally on plates. Slice the octopus hot, place on top. Let it tumble. Garnish with some fresh dill, or sea herbs such as samphire.

To finish, open a bottle of Tasmanian cool-climate Pinot Grigio with some texture; enjoy!

Chef Ashley Davis

Pure South has made authentic efforts over the last 10 years in developing relationships directly with farmers, fisherman and producers to deliver their best. Ashley Davis has made his mark at some of London’s top restaurants. At the helm of 2 Michelin ‘Hélène Darroze at The Connaught’ in London’s Mayfair, Ashley took this London restaurant from one to two Michelin Stars in his first year and kept the rating for the next three. For a Melbourne talent who has hit this pinnacle, what do you strive for next? (more)

here to view all of Chef Ashley Davis's recipes.

Ashley Davis

More Features