Octopus

A Greek meze for connoisseurs!

The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc. It has no internal or external skeleton, eight arms bearing suction cups and it’s able to squeeze itself through tight places.

Creepy but delicious and nutritious, the octopus is suitable for those who watch their diet. 90 grams of octopus have about 140 calories 16 of which come from fat.

Xtapodi2The octopus is an important source of the essential for good health omega 3 fats, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and depression. In addition, omega 3 fats facilitate the strengthening and improvement of the brain in children and show beneficial effects in preventing diseases such as chronic bronchitis and Alzheimer’s disease.
The presence of vitamins A, B and C in octopus is also beneficial for our health. While vitamin A is useful for the maintenance of good vision, vitamin C is necessary to enhance the immune system. Furthermore, the octopus is a source of vitamins B3 and B12 and rich in many essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, which help the body in performing various vital functions.

Octopus is a basic food in Mediterranean cuisine and it is quite common in the Greek islands to see octopuses hanging in the sunlight from a rope, just like laundry from a clothesline.

The octopus of the Greek seas weighs up to 6 pounds. They are often caught by spear fishing close to the shore. The fisherman brings his prey to land and tenderizes the flesh by pounding the carcass against a stone surface. Thus treated, they are hung out to dry, and later will be served grilled, either hot or chilled in a salad. They are considered a superb meze, especially alongside ouzo but Greeks also like to cook it with a short of chopped in small pieces pasta and tomato.

MLGFB Tip:

How to make a summer, cold salad with octopus and black-eyed peas (4 portions)

Xtapodi_mauromatikaIngredients: 2 tea cups black-eyed peas cooked, 1x1kg octopus, 1/2 tea cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tea cup of dry white wine, 1/2 tea cup of vinegar, 4-5pepper corns, 2 little gem lettuce hearts, 1 red onion in rings, 4 pickled cucumbers, cut in slices, 2-3 radishes, cut in slices, some parsley, finely chopped

Preparation:

  • In a casserole-type pan simmer the octopus in the oil, wine, vinegar and pepper until softened
  • Leave it to cool off and cut it in bite-sized pieces
  • In a platter arrange the coarsely cut lettuce hearts and put on top the onion rings, pickled cucumbers and radishes
  • Finish with the octopus bites along with their juices and sprinkle with the parsley

 

This is a recipe of famous Greek chef Argyro Barbarigou

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