Mastiha-Marinated Octopus with Roasted Red Peppers and Herbs

  • 1 medium octopus, about 3 pounds (1 ½ kilos)

  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar

  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, slivered

  • 2 tsp. dried oregano

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tsp. small Mastiha crystals, pounded with a little salt

  • ½ tsp. whole black peppercorns

  • 4 large roasted red peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped

  • 4 scallions, white part only, thinly sliced

  • 1 Τbsp. minced fresh oregano

  • 1 Τbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley

  • 3 Τbsp. extra virgin olive oil, more if desired

  • 3 cups fresh salad greens (baby spinach, lamb’s lettuce, arugula or any other mixed salad greens of choice), trimmed, washed and drained

  • 2 Τbsp. small capers, rinsed and drained

  1. Cut the octopus just below its eyes and remove the hood completely. Discard. Remove and discard the mouth. Place the octopus in a large, heavy pot over low heat and cover. Cook slowly for about 45-50 minutes, or until it exudes all its own juices and turns deep pink in colour.

  2. Cut the octopus into 8 tentacles and cut each tentacle at a slant into ½ - inch (1-1,5cm) oval slices.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, 2/3 cup olive oil, garlic, dried oregano, bay leaf, Mastiha salt, and peppercorns. Place the octopus slices in a clean jar large enough to hold them and the marinade. Pour the marinade over the octopus. Cover and marinate for at least 24 hours or up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

  4. To prepare the salad, combine the roasted red peppers and scallions in a large bowl. Remove the octopus from the marinade with a sloted spoon and add to the bowl. Add the fresh oregano, parsley, and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and stir to combine. Divide the salad greens among 6 individual plates. Spoon the salad on top, sprinkle with capers, and drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil, if desired.