This is one of the most popular Croatian dishes served in restaurants along the Adriatic coast. It’s the perfect light and fresh start to a meal, and is fairly easy to prepare too
There are hundreds of variations of this dish and every family treasures their own special recipe.
It is fairly simple to make and, when you become confident in preparing it, you can add your own personal touch – adding some capers, salad leaves or even olives.
• 1kg octopus
• 200 grams waxy potatoes, such as desiree, sebago or nicola
• 2 bay leaves
• 10 peppercorns
• 80ml extra virgin olive oil
• 40ml red wine vinegar
• 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
• 200 grams cherry tomatoes, halved
• 2 small lebanese cucumbers, sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper
1 First, you need to tenderise the octopus. In Australia, fishmongers can do this for you by spinning the octopus in an oyster-cleaning machine. If you plan to tenderise it yourself, freeze the octopus for 2–3 days.
2 Cook the potatoes in their skins in boiling salted water until soft. When they are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut into 1 cm thick slices.
3 Bring 2 litres water, the bay leaves and peppercorns to the boil (do not season the water with salt).
4 Put the octopus in the boiling water and cook for 12 minutes. Strain the octopus and let it cool for 5 minutes.
5 Remove the octopus skin and cut the tentacles into 5 mm slices. Transfer to a serving dish.
6 While the octopus is still warm, add the olive oil, vinegar, potato, onion, tomato, cucumber, garlic, parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Ino Kuvacic, extracted from Dalmatia