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.
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.
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.
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!