Italian American Christmas Eve
with Stanley Tucci
Octopus and Potato Salad
Insalata di Polipo e Patate
1 ½ - 2 pounds octopus, cleaned
1 wine cork
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium Idaho potatoes, whole
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Bermuda onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Lemon wedges for garnish
Place the octopus, wine cork, bay leaves, and salt and pepper in a large pot with water. Cover generously and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook the octopus at a vigorous simmer until tender but slightly al dente, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a second pot, cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook about 25 minutes, until just tender, then cool, peel, and cut them into 1" cubes.
Drain the octopus, discarding the bay leaves and cork. Cut the tentacles away where they join the head and, if desired, strip away the skin and suction cups by drawing the tentacles through the bunched fingers of one hand. Clean the octopus head by squeezing out the core with your fingers, and cut the meat into thin slices. Cut the tentacles into 1" pieces, and toss the octopus pieces with the warm potatoes. Toss in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, onion, and parsley. Place on a plate, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.
Recipe by Lidia Bastianich, www.lidiasitaly.com