Insalata di polpo

Insalata di polpo

This is an excellent dish for the upcoming holidays and could easily become your all-time favorite starter. Soft and tender, this festive octopus starter is marinated with the usual suspects – oil, lemon, salt and pepper, and chopped parsley – and is best served at room temperature. The lettuce and rocket leaves complement the fresh taste and provide you with something to chew. You can also choose to serve it as a main course with boiled potatoes. And although the octopus takes some time to prepare, this time the wait is definitely worth it. But if you serve this with Vermentino Italiano DOC white wine, it just becomes unbeatable!


1 kg/ 2.2 lb fresh octopus

olive oil for frying

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

1.5 dl/ 2/3 cup dry white wine

2-3 small carrots, sliced

celery stalks, sliced 

3-4 bay leaves

olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

minced garlic

chopped parsley

different types of lettuce, rocket etc.

lemon slices for garnish


Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Toss the octopus into the boiling water, return to a boil and cook for a few minutes. Discard water.

Cut the octopus into pieces and saute in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add the wine, carrot, celery, and bay leaf, and stir well. Let the mixture simmer on a low heat for 90 minutes or until all the pieces are soft and tender.

Discard all the vegetables and let the octopus pieces cool down. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, minced garlic and chopped parsley together with the octopus pieces. Arrange different types of lettuce and rocket on a serving tray and add the marinated octopus pieces on top. Garnish with lemon slices.

Insalata di polpo


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