OCTOPUS, POTATO & GARLIC WITH NETTLE & CHILLI MAYO
SERVES 4 / PREPARATION 15 MINUTES / COOKING 50 MINUTES
In Greece, skordalia is often served with octopus. It is something I’m extremely fond of, however it involves a borderline-sickening amount of raw garlic. In this take I've stayed true to the flavours of skordalia, but varied the texture with potato chunks and I've taken the sting out of the raw garlic by treating it to some time in hot butter. If you can’t get your hands on nettle, any green leaf will do the trick.
2 cups broad beans
½ cup rice wine vinegar 2 cups nettle
3 cloves garlic
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cracked pepper 1 cup sunflower oil
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the octopus whole. Bring back to the boil and cook for 15 minutes. The meat should still have some spring to it. You could do this in advance and keep in the fridge overnight. Add the broad beans to the same water and boil for about 5 minutes. Once cooled, shell them and set aside.
For the mayo, roughly chop the chilli and put in a small pot on medium heat with the vinegar. Bring to the boil and cook until the vinegar is almost boiled dry and the chilli is softened. Put the nettle and a splash of water in another pot and steam for a few minutes, then drain and squeeze any excess water from the leaves. Chop one clove of garlic as finely as possible. Put the yolks, pepper and chopped garlic in a stand mixer or food processor and, while running, add the sunflower and olive oil in a thin stream (saving two tablespoons of olive oil for cooking the octopus). Watch carefully; if it looks like it might be splitting, stop adding the oil and continue to mix or whisk until it's stabilised. Once all the oil is added, finely chop the chilli and nettle and mix through the mayo, adding some hot water if it needs loosening.
Chop the potatoes into 2cm cubes and bring to the boil in salted water, removing them once they’re just cooked through. Put the butter and remaining two chopped garlic cloves in a pan on a medium heat. Add potatoes to buttery pan and toss until coated.
Before grilling the octopus, cut each tentacle from the head or cut into smaller pieces as desired. Brush the octopus in a little olive oil and grill over coals or on the barbecue, until it takes on some colour and smoke.
Assemble on a large plate – I like to place a bit of everything together as if it was going to be picked up as one perfect mouthful of each component.