What goes with Octopus
Category Ingredients that Pair with Octopus
Fruits Lemons, Limes, Oranges
Vegetables Potatoes, Garlic, Onions, Bell peppers, Tomatoes, Olives
Proteins Chorizo, White fish, Prawns, Mussels
Dairy Olive oil, Feta, Ricotta
Spices/Herbs Parsley, Thyme, Oregano, Bay leaves, Paprika, Rosemary, Chili, Cilantro
Grains Rice, Pasta, Couscous
Beverages Red Wines (like Tempranillo), White Wines (like Albariño), Beers, Ouzo (in Greek cuisine)
Sauces & Condiments Aioli, Romesco, Salsa verde, Pesto, Chimichurri, Teriyaki

Octopus is a versatile ingredient that can be paired with a variety of flavors and ingredients to create delicious dishes. Whether grilled with sausage, onions, peppers, or cherry tomatoes, added to salads with leafy greens, tomato and onion, or citrus, or incorporated into pasta dishes with lemon and olive oil, octopus offers a delightful culinary experience.

When it comes to octopus pairings, the possibilities are endless. Here are some key takeaways to remember:

Key Takeaways:

  • Grilled octopus can be paired with sausage, onions, peppers, or cherry tomatoes for a flavorful combination.
  • Octopus adds a unique texture and flavor to salads, whether combined with leafy greens, tomato and onion, or citrus.
  • Octopus works well in pasta dishes, such as frutti di mare, or simply dressed with lemon and olive oil.
  • Other ideas include marinating octopus in olive oil, garlic, and herbs, searing it briefly for added flavor, or serving it as tapas with cooked potato wedges.
  • For a South American twist, octopus can be used to make ceviche by marinating it in lime juice and adding herbs and spices.

With these octopus pairing ideas, you can create a variety of delicious dishes that showcase the versatility and unique flavors of this incredible ingredient.

Grilled Octopus Pairings

When grilling octopus, consider pairing it with sausage, onions, peppers, or cherry tomatoes for a flavorful and satisfying meal. The smoky and charred flavor of the grilled octopus combines perfectly with these ingredients, creating a mouth-watering combination that will delight your taste buds.

For a delicious twist, try grilling octopus sausages alongside the octopus itself. The savory flavors of the sausage pair wonderfully with the tender and slightly salty octopus. Add some grilled onions and peppers to the mix for added depth and sweetness. The combination of flavors and textures is truly indulgent.

If you prefer a lighter and fresher option, consider grilling octopus with cherry tomatoes. The natural sweetness of the tomatoes complements the rich flavor of the octopus, creating a vibrant and refreshing dish. Add some fresh herbs like basil or parsley for an extra burst of freshness.

Octopus Grilling Tips:

  1. Before grilling, make sure to clean the octopus properly by removing the beak and internal organs.
  2. Tenderize the octopus by either freezing it before grilling or by boiling it for a short period of time.
  3. Brush the octopus with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper to enhance the flavors.
  4. Grill the octopus over medium heat for about 4-6 minutes per side until it is charred and tender.

grilled octopus with cherry tomatoes

Finish off your grilled octopus creation by drizzling it with some extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice for a bright and zesty touch. Serve it as a main course or as part of a Mediterranean-style mezze platter, accompanied by some crusty bread and a glass of chilled white wine.

Octopus in Salads

If you’re looking to incorporate octopus into your salads, try combining it with leafy greens, chopped tomato and onion, or citrus fruits for a burst of flavors. Octopus adds a unique texture and taste to salads, elevating them to a whole new level of deliciousness. Whether you prefer a light and refreshing salad or something more hearty, octopus can be a fantastic addition.

For a simple yet satisfying salad, start with a bed of fresh leafy greens, such as arugula or mixed baby greens. Add tender octopus pieces, either grilled or boiled, to the greens. The octopus pairs beautifully with the peppery arugula and adds a meaty element to the salad.

If you’re a fan of Mediterranean flavors, try combining octopus with chopped tomato and onion. The sweetness of the tomato and the sharpness of the onion complement the subtle brininess of the octopus. Finish off the salad with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt for a truly delightful combination of flavors.

Alternatively, you can add a citrus twist to your octopus salad. Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice over the octopus to brighten up the flavors. The tangy citrus notes cut through the richness of the octopus, creating a refreshing and zesty salad. Garnish with some fresh herbs like parsley or dill for an extra pop of freshness.

octopus salad

Ingredients Instructions
Octopus, cooked and sliced In a large bowl, combine the octopus with your choice of leafy greens, chopped tomato and onion, or citrus fruits.
Leafy greens (arugula, mixed baby greens) Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Chopped tomato and onion Toss everything together until well combined. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
Citrus fruits (lemon or lime) Serve immediately and enjoy!

With these salad ideas, you can explore the versatility of octopus and create a refreshing and satisfying dish. Whether you’re a seafood lover or simply looking to try something new, octopus salads are a fantastic choice. So, why not give it a whirl and let your taste buds be delighted!

Octopus in Pasta Dishes

For a taste of the sea, add octopus to your favorite pasta dishes like frutti di mare or try a simple lemon and olive oil dressing for a delightful combination. Octopus brings a unique seafood flavor and a tender texture that pairs perfectly with pasta. Whether you’re craving a rich and savory seafood pasta or a lighter, refreshing dish, octopus can elevate your culinary experience.

One popular pasta dish that features octopus is frutti di mare, which translates to “fruit of the sea” in Italian. This dish typically includes a medley of seafood, such as shrimp, mussels, clams, and squid. Adding octopus to the mix introduces another layer of taste and texture, creating a truly indulgent seafood feast.

If you prefer a simpler pasta dish, try dressing your cooked pasta with a combination of fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. This light and zesty dressing will enhance the natural flavors of the octopus without overpowering them. Sprinkle some chopped parsley or basil on top for a touch of freshness.

Pasta Dish Description
Frutti di Mare A rich and savory pasta dish featuring a variety of seafood, including octopus.
Lemon and Olive Oil Octopus Pasta A simple yet flavorful pasta dish where the octopus is dressed with a light lemon and olive oil dressing.

Octopus pasta dishes offer a delightful fusion of land and sea, bringing together the best of both worlds. So why not get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different flavors and ingredients? Whether you’re a seafood lover or seeking to expand your culinary horizons, octopus is a versatile ingredient that can add a touch of sophistication to your pasta creations.

octopus-pasta-image

If you’re feeling adventurous, try marinating octopus in olive oil and herbs, searing it for extra flavor, or experimenting with traditional dishes like tapas, ceviche, and Portuguese-style octopus with roasted salted potatoes. It can also be a surprising addition to seafood pizza or stir-fries.

When it comes to marinating octopus, a simple yet flavorful combination of olive oil, garlic, and herbs can work wonders. Let the octopus soak in the marinade for a few hours to infuse it with delicious flavors before cooking. Once marinated, you can grill or pan-sear the octopus to achieve an enticing charred exterior and succulent interior.

Tapas are a popular choice for serving octopus, allowing you to enjoy small, flavorful bites. Combine tender octopus with cooked potato wedges, seasoned with salt and herbs, for a delightful Spanish-style tapas. The contrasting textures and flavors make it a satisfying dish to share with friends and family.

Inspired by the vibrant flavors of South America, ceviche is another fantastic way to enjoy octopus. Marinate thinly sliced octopus in fresh lime juice, along with herbs, spices, and diced vegetables, creating a light and refreshing dish. Serve it chilled as an appetizer or light lunch, accompanied by crispy tortilla chips or a crusty baguette.

If you’re looking for a taste of Portugal, try octopus with roasted salted potatoes. This hearty dish combines tender octopus with crispy potatoes that have been roasted to perfection. The saltiness of the potatoes complements the mild sweetness of the octopus, resulting in a truly satisfying meal.

If you’re a fan of pizza, why not venture into new territory with a seafood pizza featuring octopus? Top a thin pizza crust with a flavorful tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and generous portions of grilled octopus, shrimp, and other seafood of your choice. Bake it until the cheese is bubbly and golden, and enjoy a unique twist on the classic pizza.

For a quick and flavorful weeknight dinner, try stir-frying octopus with an array of fresh vegetables. The tender octopus pairs well with crunchy vegetables such as bell peppers, snap peas, and carrots. Toss them in a hot wok with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for a savory and satisfying stir-fry.

octopus pairing

Pairing Idea Description
Marinated Octopus Marinate octopus in olive oil, garlic, and herbs before grilling or searing for added flavor.
Tapas Serve octopus as tapas with cooked potato wedges for a Spanish-style appetizer.
Ceviche Make ceviche by marinating thinly sliced octopus in fresh lime juice, herbs, spices, and diced vegetables.
Octopus with Roasted Salted Potatoes Try Portuguese-style octopus with roasted salted potatoes for a hearty and flavorful meal.
Seafood Pizza Top a pizza crust with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and grilled octopus for a unique twist on pizza.
Octopus Stir-Fry Stir-fry octopus with an assortment of fresh vegetables, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for a quick and tasty dinner.

Exploring Octopus with Wines

To enhance your octopus dining experience, consider pairing it with a crisp and citrusy white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Albariño. These wines have refreshing acidity and bright citrus flavors that complement the delicate flavors of octopus. The zesty notes of Sauvignon Blanc or the vibrant aromatics of Albariño can elevate the taste of grilled octopus or octopus salads.

If you prefer red wine, opt for a light-bodied variety like Gamay or Pinot Noir. These red wines have softer tannins and fruity characteristics that won’t overpower the subtle flavors of octopus. The lightness of Gamay or the elegance of Pinot Noir can provide a harmonious balance when paired with octopus pasta dishes or other octopus-based recipes.

When selecting wines to pair with octopus, it’s important to consider the flavors and textures of the accompanying ingredients. A good rule of thumb is to choose wines that won’t overpower the delicacy of octopus but rather complement its unique taste. The acidity, fruitiness, and lightness of Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño, Gamay, or Pinot Noir make them excellent choices to enhance your octopus culinary experience.

Wine Recommended Pairings
Sauvignon Blanc Grilled octopus with cherry tomatoes
Albariño Octopus salad with citrus dressing
Gamay Octopus pasta with lemon and olive oil
Pinot Noir Octopus tapas with roasted salted potatoes

So, whether you’re grilling octopus, making a refreshing salad, or enjoying it in a pasta dish, don’t forget to choose the perfect wine companion. Let the crisp and citrusy notes of Sauvignon Blanc or Albariño, or the light-bodied elegance of Gamay or Pinot Noir, elevate your octopus dining experience to new heights.

Octopus and Wine

Octopus is a versatile ingredient that can be paired with a wide range of flavors and ingredients to create delicious and unique dishes. Whether grilled with sausage and vegetables, added to salads or pasta dishes, or served in traditional preparations like ceviche or tapas, there are endless possibilities to explore.

When grilling octopus, it can be combined with ingredients such as sausage, onions, peppers, or cherry tomatoes to create a smoky and charred flavor. In salads, octopus adds a unique texture and pairs well with leafy greens, chopped tomato and onion, or citrus fruits for a refreshing and vibrant dish. It also works wonderfully in pasta dishes, whether in seafood pasta like frutti di mare or simply dressed with lemon and olive oil for a light and flavorful meal.

For those looking for more adventurous pairings, octopus can be marinated in olive oil, garlic, and herbs before cooking, or seared briefly for added flavor. It can be served as tapas with cooked potato wedges, used to make ceviche by marinating it in lime juice and adding herbs and spices, or enjoyed with roasted salted potatoes in the Portuguese style. Octopus can even be a delightful addition to seafood pizza or stir-fried with vegetables.

As you explore the culinary possibilities of octopus, don’t forget to complement your dishes with a suitable wine. White wines with citrus notes like Sauvignon Blanc or Albariño can enhance the flavors of octopus, while light-bodied red wines such as Gamay or Pinot Noir can also be a delightful pairing.

The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to what can go with octopus. So, unleash your creativity in the kitchen and embark on a culinary adventure with this versatile and delicious ingredient.

By Mat Stuckey

Ex professional chef with a passion for cooking and unique flavours.

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