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Grilled octopus and squid, braised lentils & salsa verde

Grilled octopus and squid braised lentils and salsa verde

Published: May 10, 2017 at 4:09 pm
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
    • plus cooling
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

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.


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


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

Puy lentils

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

Salsa Verde

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


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