Grilled Octopus with Roasted Peppers and Potatoes Recipe

Grilled Octopus with Roasted Peppers and Potatoes

This classic of the Spanish and Portuguese cuisine is still a culinary curiosity in the US. Long hours of low and slow cooking or hitting it on a stone until tender are things of the past. A good brand of precooked octopus offers the same quality as a fresh one with the added bonus of less time in the kitchen. The simplicity of this dish relies on its ingredients. A high quality extra virgin olive oil is one of them.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

Shoud you visit the Iberian Peninsula, look out on the menu for Polbo á Feira or Pulpo a la Gallega (Spain) or Polvo à Gallega (Portugal).


  • 1 lb (450 g) fully cooked octopus legs
  • 1 lb (450 g) small Yukon gold potatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 large red pepper, deseeded and quartered on the length
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 -2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika, or to taste
  • 8 Tbsp Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, plus extra for garnish


Preheat oven to 400° F/200° C.

Remove precooked octopus from the package. Rinse it with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Place octopus in a bowl. Toss it with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika. Set aside.

Bring enough water to a boil in a saucepan. Add salt and the potato halves. Reduce to a simmer and cook potatoes for about 5 minutes. Drain and pat them dry with paper towels. Mix olive oil, salt, pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika in a bowl. Add potatoes and toss them well. Place potatoes on a baking sheet, cut side down first. Roast them for about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft, turning them around at midterm.

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush red pepper quarters with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add pepper quarters to the pan and grill them until they are charred on the skin side and almost soft. Add garlic and shallots and cook them for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the pan and keep them warm on a plate. Allow peppers to cool a bit and slice them into 1/2 inch (about 1.2 cm) slivers.

Increase heat to the grill pan until almost smoking. Add octopus and cook turning now and then until octopus is browned and crisp, about 3-5 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, sprinkle octopus with remaining tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice and parsley. Serve octopus on top of the roasted pepper and potatoes with extra lemon slices on the side.

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