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Grilled octopus with fennel, chickpea purée and wild seaweed dressing

You'll need

300 gm baby octopus (about 4), cleaned 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, bruised 1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only 1 tsp dried oregano 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock 200 gm dried chickpeas, soaked in plenty of cold water overnight, drained 1 onion, coarsely chopped 1 rosemary sprig 1 tsp ground cumin 1 large fennel bulb, very thinly sliced 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley   Wild seaweed dressing 10 large English spinach leaves, blanched and squeezed dry 3 anchovy fillets, minced ¼ lemon, finely grated rind only 200 gm laverbread (see note)


  • 01
  • For wild seaweed dressing, pound spinach in a mortar and pestle to a fine paste (8-10 minutes), add anchovy and lemon rind and pound to combine. Transfer to a bowl, add laverbread and mix well to combine.
  • 02
  • Combine octopus, 30ml oil, garlic, lemon rind and oregano in a non-reactive bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature.
  • 03
  • Combine stock, chickpeas, onion and rosemary in a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook over medium-high heat until chickpeas are tender (25-30 minutes). Drain and reserve 350ml liquid (discard rosemary). Heat remaining oil in a frying pan, add chickpea mixture and cumin and sauté to infuse flavours (5 minutes). Transfer to a food processor and process, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to form a smooth paste. Season to taste.
  • 04
  • Transfer octopus mixture to a saucepan and cook over very low heat until tender and gelatinous (20-25 minutes). Season to taste.
  • 05
  • Combine fennel, lemon juice and parsley, season to taste and toss to combine.
Note Laverbread is cooked, chopped laver (seaweed). Available from Simon Johnson.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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