Octopus is first tenderized, then lightly grilled and dressed with lemon and olive oil.
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I have friends, and perhaps you do too, who think nothing of tending to a pork loin or roasting a chicken, but shy away from cooking cephalopods of any kind. This strikes me as odd, for in terms of difficulty of cooking and time expenditure, a quick searing of octopuses, which can then be dressed in any number of oil-and-vinegar-type dressings, takes no time at all.
I've been plotting ways to get more baby octopus in my life. This mission was probably the result of a series of incredible versions of the cephalopod at restaurants recently. They've given me just enough motivation to try my hand at making it at home. Most recipes call for a quick cook over high heat, then toss the octopus with some simple vinaigrette. But I fell in love with this recipe from David Pasternack's The Young Man & The Sea (which SE overlord Ed Levine co-wrote!), which goes the long route—simmering the octopus for nearly 30 minutes in a tomato sauce.
Octopus can intimidate the home cook. Once you understand that it takes two simple techniques to take octopus from threatening foe to cherished dinnertime friend, you'll be hooked on its mild oceanic flavor and slightly springy texture.
Celery has never been a vegetable that I've had an affinity for—not crunched on raw or slathered with peanut butter. I've always found it stringy, fibrous, and bitter in a way that was unappealing. But the first few bites of the sweet celery hearts mixed with tender octopus, lightly dressed with olive oil and vinegar, opened my eyes to celery's potential. Who would have thought it would take a cephalopod to help me learn to love celery?
The following recipe is from the November 11 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here! One of the best things about the recipes in How to Roast a Lamb by Michael...
The first serious chef I think of when I think about Mother's Day is Lidia Bastianich. Lidia is the proud mother of Joe Bastianich, restaurateur, vintner, and food businessman extraordinaire, and of Tanya Bastianich Manuali, her travelmate on the Lidia's Italy television series. She's also a grandmother of five and the devoted daughter of her mom, Erminia, who escaped from a refugee camp with Lidia 40 years ago. So I figured I'd ask Lidia how she's celebrating Mother's Day.