300 gmbaby octopus (about 4), cleaned50 mlextra-virgin olive oil2garlic cloves, bruised1lemon, finely grated rind and juice only1 tspdried oregano1 litre(4 cups) chicken stock200 gmdried chickpeas, soaked in plenty of cold water overnight, drained1onion, coarsely chopped1rosemary sprig1 tspground cumin1large fennel bulb, very thinly sliced2 tbspflat-leaf parsleyWild seaweed dressing10large English spinach leaves, blanched and squeezed dry3anchovy fillets, minced¼lemon, finely grated rind only200 gmlaverbread (see note)
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.
Combine octopus, 30ml oil, garlic, lemon rind and oregano in a non-reactive bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature.
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.
Transfer octopus mixture to a saucepan and cook over very low heat until tender and gelatinous (20-25 minutes). Season to taste.
Combine fennel, lemon juice and parsley, season to taste and toss to combine.