After being so happy with my pre-cooked octopus that I purchased to ale Insalata di Polpo, as recommended by Frank Fariello from his blog Memorie di Angelina, I looked for other ways to use it. You’re supposed to be able to fire-grill the pre-cooked octopus, but I’ve enjoyed it many times cooked right from the ocean over fire that I was too skeptical to do that. Plus who wants overcooked octopus.
Then I came across a different salad recipe using pre-cooked octopus. This is a fall salad, also with butternut squash and feta. I was really intrigued and had to make it.
I originally purchased pre-cooked octopus from Fulton Fish Market, which I’ve relied on often for seafood. They sell a huge variety and fish and seafood, but only what’s in season. What I purchased was wild octopus from Spain. This octopus was shipped by Wild Fork and was equally as good.
I adapted this recipe from one I discovered while looking for pre-cooked octopus recipe ideas. If you click the link there are the many reasons listed why pre-cooked octopus is recommended for cooking. I’m not 100% sold. As I said, I’d never pass on fire-grilled octopus, but living in Oklahoma, this is a very handy product, and one I’ll buy again.
Octopus Salad with Butternut Squash and Feta
3 – 10 ounces packages frozen butternut squash cubes, thawed, dried with paper towels
Salt and pepper
1 pound pre-cooked frozen octopus, thawed
Arugula, dressed and slightly wilted using the oil and vinegar
8 ounces of feta cheese
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Vinegar, to taste (I used Mango Sriracha White Balsamic)
2 tablespoons of toasted pumpkin seeds
A few sprigs of parsley
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the butternut squash cubes in a baking dish. Drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast until lightly browned. Keep warm while preparing the remaining recipe.
While the squash is in the oven, slice the cooked octopus into rounds, leaving a couple of cute tentacle swirls for decoration. Warm the octopus gently and keep warm.
To prepare the salads, place some of the wilted arugula on the plates. Arrange the warm squash cubes and octopus over the arugula, then add the crumbled feta. Just before serving, sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds, a little parsley, plus salt and pepper.
Sprinkle on the olive oil and vinegar to taste. I enjoy more vinegar than most, and this one was good! Fig vinegar or a pear vinegar would also be good on this salad.
If it was closer to the holidays, I’d add some dried cranberries or cherries to the salad! Maybe even some dates!