• Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Grilled Octopus Salad


Grilled Octopus with Frisee, Mustard Vinaigrette & Tomato-Pepper Sauce

By Andrew Zimmern

Octopus is delicious and easy to cook at home, trust me. It may seem intimidating, but I’m hoping this tutorial will encourage you to try it out. This is a set-it-and-forget-it type of meal. Once you’ve cooked the octopus, throw it on a hot grill to get a smoky char and serve it with a simple frisee salad topped with candied bacon.

Watch Andrew make this recipe:

Grilled Octopus Salad with Tomato-Pepper Sauce

Servings: 4


  • 1 fresh young octopus, about 3 pounds in size, beak and viscera discarded
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 leek, halved, rinsed and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Tunisian Pepper-Tomato Sauce
  • 3 small heads young frisee, leaves separated, outer dark green leaves discarded for another use
  • Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons chives, chopped

Candied Bacon

  • 1 pound thick sliced bacon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


Rinse octopus and place in a large pot. Add the wine, water, peppercorns, salt, onion, celery, carrots, leek, tomatoes and a handful of parsley. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a simmer and cover, cooking for about 2 hours, or until tender.

Let octopus cool in the cooking liquid, storing in the fridge until ready to use.

Once it has cooled, cut off individual legs and slice the octopus head into large pieces. Brush with olive oil, season with salt.

Brush a grill or grill pan with a little bit of olive oil. Grill the octopus over medium-high heat until slightly charred all over, about 5 minutes.

Place the a spoonful of the Tunisian pepper sauce on each plate.

Toss the frisee with the dijon mustard vinaigrette. Nestle a portion of dressed salad on the sauce, topping with the candied bacon (recipe below) and octopus. Garnish with parsley, an extra drizzle of the vinaigrette, chives and freshly ground black pepper.

Candied Bacon

Cut the bacon into pinky-tip-sized lardons, small rectangles. Slowly brown in a large skillet over medium heat. When beginning to crisp and render, tip off the fat. Put the pan back on the heat, add sugar and toss until caramelized. Spill out onto no-stick tray and garnish salad while still warm.

Frisee Salad with Candied Bacon & French Vinaigrette
Tunisian Pepper-Tomato Sauce
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