Charred Vadouvan Octopus with Grilled Watermelon and Salsa Verde

For whatever reason, my wife and I have been on a heavy (and delicious) seafood kick lately. I suppose all of these bright and refreshing dishes are thanks to the beautiful Summer weather we’ve been having. The countdown to our Key Largo/Miami beach vacation the end of this month might also be to blame. I CANNOT wait for all of that fresh ceviche and stone crabs! But since that trip is still a few weeks away, we are finding respite from our daily schedules in these tasty seafood dishes. And man oh man, one of my faves is this Charred Vadouvan Octopus with Grilled Watermelon and Salsa Verde.

Charred Vadouvan Octopus with Grilled Watermelon and Salsa Verde

Remember how I said that 1) I get that putting octopus on your family’s dinner menu might be a stretch; and 2) octopus wasn’t necessarily a standard in my house so I understand that it might be a tough one to try? Well, surprisingly it does seem to be climbing the ranks of favorite proteins in our house now! My daughter enjoys having it in the house so much that she likes to bring out of the fridge to show me (or guests) whenever possible. So you know… if we’re THAT excited about octopus, maybe its time to test the whole “we’re having octopus for dinner” thing on your family. And this recipe is the perfect one to start with.

As I explained in my Octopus Salad with Green Harissa post, there are a couple techniques you can use to tenderize and cook the octopus. I prefer the pressure cooker option but dont worry if that’s not a tool you have in your kitchen. A low and slow braise will do the trick as well. Once you have a perfectly cooked octopus, it’s time to develop the incredible flavors that make this dish a winner.

Charred Vadouvan Octopus with Grilled Watermelon and Salsa Verde

The octopus is seasoned with a vadouvan curry spice, which is a French version of the Madras curry you’re probably more familiar with. The complex blend of curried spices works beautifully with the char that’s developed on the grill. Since I had the grill going, I knew that a smokey, sweet grilled watermelon would compliment the aromatic spices on the charred octopus so well. And for me, a super bright and tart sauce always pairs with grilled octopus perfectly. A salsa verde is an acidic blend of herbs, which is a great contrast flavor for the dish. This Charred Vadouvan Octopus with Grilled Watermelon and Salsa Verde is smokey, crunchy, sweet, bright, refreshing, aromatic, and incredibly satisfying. It’s the perfect gateway octopus dish to introduce to your family.

Charred Vadouvan Octopus with Grilled Watermelon and Salsa Verde

Notes: Check out this pressure cooker! Not only does it cut down on cook time but it also has lots of other features to make cooking easy!

Print Recipe
Charred Vadouvan Octopus with Grilled Watermelon and Olive Salsa Verde
This Charred Vadouvan Octopus with Grilled Watermelon and Salsa Verde is smokey, crunchy, sweet, bright, refreshing, aromatic, and incredibly satisfying.
Charred Vadouvan Octopus with Grilled Watermelon and Salsa Verde
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Octopus
Olive Salsa Verde
Garnishes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Octopus
Olive Salsa Verde
Garnishes
Charred Vadouvan Octopus with Grilled Watermelon and Salsa Verde
Instructions
Octopus
  1. Start by placing the octopus and 2 tbsp vadouvan spice to the pressure cooker or a stock pot. Add enough water to cover octopus. Cover with lid and cook on low for 45 minutes in the stock pot or for 15 minutes in the pressure cooker. Once cooked, remove octopus from pot. Place in fridge until just before serving/grilling.
    Octopus
Salsa Verde
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt if needed.
    mixed herbs
Grilling
  1. Preheat grill according to manufactures instructions. Drizzle olive oil on the fennel and watermelon and season with salt. Place watermelon on skewers. When the grill is hot, place watermelon skewers and fennel on hottest spot of grill (you want to get great grill marks without overcooking either item). Grill watermelon for 2-3 minutes, rotating to grill each side. Remove skewers once cooked. Grill fennel for 5-8 minutes, or until charred and slight soft.
    Fennel and watermelon
  2. Sprinkle remaining vadouvan spice and salt on the cooked octopus, drizzle with olive oil, and place on hot grill. Grill for 10-15 minutes, or until charred and slightly crispy.
  3. Serve hot octopus with watermelon, fennel, salsa verde, and grilled bread.
    Charred Vadouvan Octopus with Grilled Watermelon and Salsa Verde
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