Grilled octopus and squid, braised lentils & salsa verde

Grilled octopus and squid braised lentils and salsa verde

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Tender pieces of octopus and florettes of Cornish squid are served on a bed of glossy lentils with tiny cubes of pancetta and an umami-rich green chilli salsa verde. This recipe is easy, serves four and isn't as scary as it sounds!


This is an Italian-influenced dish from Paul Hood, head chef at Hai Cenato. Also check out our recipes for charred octopus and squid stew.



  • squid 2 bodies, cleaned, lightly scored and cut not 16 pieces


  • octopus 1, whole
  • red chillies 5
  • garlic 1 bulb, halved
  • lemon 1, zest of
  • orange 1, zest of
  • white wine 150ml
  • white wine vinegar 100ml
  • shallots 2, roughy chopped
  • thyme a small bunch, leaves picked
  • bay leaf 1
  • peppercorns 1 tsp

Puy lentils

  • Puy lentils 240g, soaked overnight
  • olive oil
  • shallots 3, finely chopped
  • garlic 2 cloves, finely chopped
  • thyme a small bunch, leaves picked and chopped
  • rosemary a small bunch, leaves picked and chopped
  • prosciutto 80g, finely sliced
  • veal or chicken stock 500ml
  • butter 20g
  • flat-leaf parsley chopped to make 1 tbsp

Salsa Verde

  • flat-leaf parsley a bunch
  • basil a small bunch
  • mint a small bunch
  • cornichons 20g
  • capers 2 tbsp, drained and rinsed
  • white bread 1 small slice
  • olive oil 100ml
  • lemon 1/2, juiced


  • Step 1

    Put the octopus ingredients in a pan with enough cold water to cover the octopus. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for  2 hours, skimming regularly.

  • Step 2

    Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the liquid for 1 hour. Strain, then remove the tentacles  and cut into pieces. Discard the rest.

  • Step 3

    Put the puy lentils into a large pan of cold, lightly salted water and bring to the boil over a medium heat, then strain.

  • Step 4

    Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots, with the garlic, thyme and rosemary, until translucent.

  • Step 5

    Add the prosciutto, puy lentils and stock, then bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are tender. Season and stir through the butter and parsley.

  • Step 6

    Put all of the salsa verde ingredients into a food processor with some seasoning and whizz to a purée.

  • Step 7

    Heat a frying pan with 2 tbsp of oil over a medium heat and fry the octopus for 2-3 minutes, tossing regularly, until golden. Add the squid and fry for a further minute.

  • Step 8

    Serve with the lentils and salsa verde.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 885
  • Fat 43.3g
  • Saturates 9.3g
  • Carbs 38g
  • Sugars 2g
  • Fibre 11.5g
  • Protein 80g
  • Salt 3.6g