Octopus Panzanella

Recipe by Andraya Avison

Serves 4


  • 1 package GoodFish Seafood Co. octopus
  • 1 750 ml. bottle dry white wine
  • 1 celery stalk, quartered
  • 1 carrot, quartered
  • 1 lemon, peeled (peel reserved) and juiced
  • 2 shallots, 1 cut in half lengthwise and 1 peeled, trimmed, and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2–3 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 4 slices Italian bread (rustic ciabatta or sourdough), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup olives, pitted
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Prepare octopus

  • In a medium pot, bring wine, celery, carrot, lemon peel, shallot, garlic, and parsley sprigs to a boil.
  • Dip each octopus tentacle in the wine mixture for a few seconds three times to curl them.
  • Submerge the tentacles in the wine mixture, cover, and simmer for 1–1 ½ hours until tender.
  • Let the cooked octopus cool in the wine for 30 minutes, then transfer it to the fridge to cool completely.

Step 2: Prepare croutons

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Toss half of the bread cubes in a bowl with  2 tbsp. olive oil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spread the seasoned bread cubes onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes until golden and crispy.

Step 3: Prepare panzanella mixture

  • In a blender or food processor, blend half of the following: tomatoes cucumbers, and shallots, with the remaining stale bread, 2 tbsp, olive oil, vinegar, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste until smooth. The texture should be similar to hummus.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining tomatoes. cucumbers, shallots, and olive oil with croutons, olives, and torn basil leaves. Mix well. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Step 4: Grill the octopus

  • Remove any excess skin from cooled octopus tentacles by gently rubbing with paper towel.
  • Cut the tentacles into manageable chunks, approximately 4 inches in length. Slice chunks in half lengthwise.
  • Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a medium stainless steel pan over medium-high.
  • Once hot, grill the octopus for 3–5 minutes per side until crispy and slightly charred.

Step 5: Assemble and serve

  • Divide the prepared "liquid" panzanella mixture between shallow serving bowls, spreading an even layer across the bottom of the bowls.
  • Place the solid panzanella in mounds in centres of "liquid" panzanella mixture.
  • Place the grilled octopus on top of the panzanella.
  • Garnish with more fresh basil leaves and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Enjoy!

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Andraya Avison