A few weeks ago I found myself sitting in Monterey with a table surrounded by old Sicilian fisherman. One of them was lamenting how American chefs don’t know how to cook octopus. He then proceeded to explain, with passionate detail, his process for cooking fresh octopus. The idea was to slowly dip the octopus into simmering stock three times before submerging it, then only cook it long enough to become tender. The resulting texture should be tender- but still have a bite – “al dente!”.
This conversation was the inspiration for this dish. We followed the directions as best as I could recollect and the resulting octopus was delicious! I served it with a white bean puree, black olive-ink sauce and the last of our black onyx tomatoes from the garden. A few spicy mustard greens and fresh pressed olive oil finished the plate.