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Grilled Octopus

Envisage this relaxing image - a Greek beach side bar sitting lazily in the sun with good company, a classic Greek dish served with good wine or ouzo.
This recipe is an ideal dish to share with friends and family as an appetizer, anywhere and at anytime of the day, served either hot or at room temperature. Though it takes a while to cook, you will impress your guest tremendously with this delicious recipe from Quest Greek Islands.

1 kg small Octopus (if using large they will need longer cooking)
6 Bay leaves
4 Bunches of herbs - oregano, Fennel fronds, Parsley and green onions
1/4 cup of olive oil
Juice of a lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 diced fresh Chile or 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
Good quality olive oil, black pepper and lemon wedges for the garnish


Clean the octopus under running water and discard the ink sac, stomach, eyes and beak with a sharp knife.
Blanch the octopus in a large pan of salted water for 90 seconds, then remove and drain in a colander for a few minutes.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. In a large ovenproof dish with lid, line the bottom with the herbs and bay leaves. Place the octopus on the herbs, cover with the lid and cook until tender.
The cooking time depends on the size of the octopus. For example, allow from 90 minutes to 2 hours for smaller octopuses, and up to 4 hours for a large one.
When the octopus is tender, cut into chunks, or if using small octopuses leave whole. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, fresh chopped oregano and chilli and marinate the octopus for a minimum of 1 hour or as long as a day.
Preheat the grill until it is very hot, making sure the grill plates are clean and blast the octopus for a few minutes just to char grill. Remember they are already cooked so it is just to add flavour. To season, drizzle with a good quality olive oil and fresh black pepper. Serve with lemon wedges, bread, olives, Greek feta and a drink!