Although it may look a little foreboding, don’t be intimidated by cooking octopus; it’s mostly a hands-off process. With a little time and patience, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning octopus antipasto—perfect as a starter or light lunch.
While delicious as a salad, this recipe can also become a wonderful sauce to serve over pasta. Warm 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat and add tomatoes, zucchini instead of cucumber, beans, and a splash of water or white wine. Sauté until warmed through and tomatoes start to pop and release their juices. Stir in octopus and some of its marinade before spooning over spaghetti.
Scrub octopus with salt and rinse thoroughly under cold water. In large pot, place octopus, onion, bay leaves, lemon, wine (if using), and enough water to cover octopus by 2 in (5 cm). Bring to a boil before reducing heat to low and let simmer slowly, uncovered, topping up with water as needed, until octopus is fork tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
While octopus is cooking, create marinade by combining parsley, cumin, coriander, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, and sambal oelek or sriracha in food processor or blender until it forms a paste. Transfer to medium bowl and set aside.
When octopus is ready, remove from cooking liquid and, while hot, remove skin. It should wipe away easily with a paper towel. Slice into 4 in (10 cm) pieces and place warm octopus in marinade and toss to coat. Allow octopus to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, before transferring to airtight container and refrigerating for at least 24 hours, but no longer than 48 hours.
When ready to assemble dish, preheat broiler. Remove octopus tentacles from marinade, reserving marinade. Place octopus on baking tray, and broil, turning frequently, until warmed through and starting to crisp in spots, about 5 minutes total.
Transfer to cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces. Transfer to large bowl and add cherry tomatoes, cucumber, beans, and pepper. Add 2 Tbsp (30 mL) octopus marinade and toss until everything is well combined. Place in serving bowl and serve alongside toasted bread, if desired.
This recipe is part of the Sea's Bounty collection.
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.