Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Octopus salad

My mother, who loves me very much, came to visit me recently. She cleaned my house, walked my dogs and we cooked. One night she made an excellent white bean-chicory stew and I decided to try to make an octopus salad based on what I had learned on my flight down to Puerto Rico last month. My seatmate described a simple salad with spicy tinned octopus (and some other sea creatures, possibly squid?) tossed together with avocado and other veggies. I decided to make mine with diced sweet onion on top of arugula, dressed simply in lemon juice and olive oil. On one of our wanderings through Rincon, I picked up a couple of these tins of octopus. Happily, they were not confiscated by the USDA on my return flight because these are great for delicious, no-heat summertime cooking. They probably sell the tinned octopus here in the states too, I just like bringing food back with me from trips as a sort of evanescent souvenir. One tin of octopus plus one avocado was the right amount as a first-course salad for two people. Cut up one avocado, slice into chunks and dress lightly with lime juice to prevent browning while you get the rest of the salad ready.Toss the octopus gently together in a bowl with your avocado and about 1/4 cup diced onion. I have tons of Vidalias right now due to living in Georgia so I used those. Something with more bite might be nice though. Or green onion...anyway. I added a little bit more lime juice, salt, pepper, a teeny pinch red pepper flakes as I combined them.Then I tossed some arugula with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice, then rested the octopus mixture on top. Perfect for an early summer dinner out on the porch.

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