Andrew Zimmern’s Grilled Young Octopus With Frisee and Mustard Vinaigrette

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Serves 6-8


  • 1 young octopus (about 3 pounds)
  • mirepoix of leek
  • mirepoix of carrot
  • mirepoix of celery
  • mirepoix of arsely
  • mirepoix of onion
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 6 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut oil
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 4 heads young frisee
  • 3 tbsp chives
  • 1/2 lb slab of nitrate-free Nueskes cherry wood smoked bacon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


Rinse octopus and place in large pot with all the remaining ingredients except the water. Bring to a boil, add water, lower heat to maintain a simmer and cover, cooking for about 100-120 minutes until tender.

Let octopus cool in liquid, storing in fridge until ready to use. Cut off individual legs, slice head in eights. Let come to room temperature, brush with olive oil, season well, and slowly grill to lightly char the octopus and heat through.

Place on plate, nestling a portion of dressed salad in the "curled arm" of the octopus. Drizzle some extra sauce on the plate.

To make the vinaigrette, first whisk together the mustard and vinegar. Add the oils, blending well, and then blend in the cream. Adjust for seasoning and reserve.

Toss the greens in a bowl with enough sauce to cover well. Divide onto 4 plates. Garnish with ground pepper and the chives. Serve.

Cut the bacon into pinky tip-sized lardons, small rectangles. Slowly brown in a large skillet over medium heat. When beginning to crisp and rendered, tip off the fat, put pan back on heat, add sugar and toss until caramelized. Spill out onto no-stick tray and garnish salad while still warm.


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