Olive Magazine
Grilled octopus with lemon wedges on a blue plate

Marinated and grilled octopus

Published: February 19, 2017 at 11:00 am
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
    • plus cooling and marinating
  • Easy
  • Serves 4 as a sharing dish

This recipe cooks the octopus slowly to make it really tender, and grills it to give it charred, crispy edges. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of white wine

  • Gluten free

*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards


  • 1 whole (about 1.5kg) octopus
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 250ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 125ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano, plus a pinch more
  • 1/2 lemon
  • sea salt flakes


  • STEP 1

    Wash the octopus well under cold running water. If not prepped already, remove the beak, ink sac and eyes, or ask the fishmonger to do it for you. Put into a large pan with the bay, onion, carrot, celery and peppercorns.

  • STEP 2

    Pour over cold water, until the octopus is covered. Cover with an upside down saucer if it won’t completely submerge. Bring to a boil, and simmer gently with the lid on for 1 – 1½ hours. Check after 1 hour by testing one of the tentacles with a knife. It should easily go through without much resistance. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool completely in the liquid.

  • STEP 3

    Drain the cooled octopus and cut into bite-size pieces. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and oregano in a large bowl with some salt. Add the octopus pieces, and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

  • STEP 4

    Heat a griddle pan to high, and drain the octopus from the marinade. Sear the pieces for 2-3 minutes until heated through and starting to crisp and char. Transfer to a serving plate and sear the remaining pieces. Squeeze over the lemon, add a pinch more oregano and a little sea salt to serve.


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