- 1 kg large octopus, cleaned
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- Juice of 1-2 lemons, to taste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground pul biber (Aleppo pepper; see note)
- Sweet paprika, to serve
- 50 gm tarama paste
- 30 gm fine soft white breadcrumbs
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 50 ml white vinegar
- Pinch of caster sugar
- 500 ml canola oil (2 cups)
- 50 ml olive oil
- Squeeze of lemon, to taste
- 1For tarama, process tarama paste with bread, onion, garlic, vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, then add combined oils in a thin steady stream until thick and emulsified (add a little cold water if mixture thickens too much). Add lemon juice, season to taste and pulse to combine. Refrigerate to chill. Tarama will keep refrigerated for about a week.
- 2Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Beat octopus against sink or with a meat mallet to tenderise (10-15 seconds), add to saucepan, reduce heat to low (80C) and poach until very tender (1¼-1½ hours). Drain and refrigerate octopus, uncovered, until gelatinous (at least 4 hours or overnight).
- 3Burn coals on a charcoal barbecue down to white embers and wait 15 minutes for embers to settle. Grill octopus until charred and smoky (15-20 minutes). Transfer to a board and chop into pieces, then place in a bowl with parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, a good pinch of salt, cumin and chilli. Toss to combine and serve with tarama dusted with sweet paprika and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
Aleppo pepper is available from Turkish grocers; if it’s unavailable substitute another ground chilli. Tarama paste is a concentrate made from mullet roe, available in tins from delicatessens and fishmongers.
Drink Suggestion: Petit Pittacum Mencia from Spain – an elegant nose, generous on the palate. Drink suggestion by Joe Valore