Triple blanch your octopus before simmering until tender
1 kg (2 lb, 4 oz) octopus tentacles
5x garlic cloves, lightly smashed
1x long red chilli, sliced (seeds removed, if you prefer mild hotness)
1x tablespoon chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1x tablespoon chopped marjoram
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) white wine vinegar
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) mild extra virgin Olive oil
Extra white wine vinegar, to serve
1x head of fennel
1/2 head of radicchio
1x celery heart light green leaves only
For the almond tarator
2x slices of sourdough bread
1/2 cup almond meal
2x garlic cloves
1⁄2 cup water
50ml lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 Place a large saucepan of sea water over high heat and bring to the boil. If sea water is unattainable, add 500g of rock salt to 5 litres (20 cups) of water and bring to the boil.
2 Blanch the octopus three times in boiling water for about 5 seconds each time.
3 Once complete, turn the heat down and add the octopus and potatoes to the same pan.
4 Gently simmer for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove the octopus from the pan and set aside.
5 Once the octopus is cool enough to handle, chop it into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces and put in a non-reactive bowl.
6 Add all the remaining ingredients and leave to marinate for 2 hours minimum in the refrigerator.
Massimo’s tip: when chopping garlic, use the back of your knife and heel of your hand to crush it first and save yourself time
7 Remove the garlic. Season with more vinegar and season with freshly ground black pepper. It shouldn’t need any salt.
For the tarator
1 Dip bread in milk and leave for 15 minutes. Squeeze dry and place in processor along with almond meal and garlic. Add water to make a smooth paste, add olive oil, a little salt and pepper, lemon juice to taste.
Note: A little extra water might be needed. Consistency should be light and fluffy.
2 To serve place some almond tarator on a plate, top with marinated octopus. Finely slice some fennel, radicchio and celery heart and place on top and serve.
The Carousel thanks Massimo Mele for this recipe