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Mar 2, 2009 11:36 AM

Recipe for Tavolata's white bean & octopus salad?

Has anyone successfully replicated this dish? I think I can come close, though I do not know how to cook the octopus, and I wonder if I'm missing any ingredients.

This is what I think the ingredient list looks like:

Canellini beans
?finely chopped shallots

vinaigrette, made on the thick side
olive oil, only the very best
lemon juice
?lemon zest
bit o' dijon mustard
salt & pepper

I'd love any input on this if anyone has the recipe, or has tried to replicate. I also think the octopus could be swapped out with artichoke hearts or some nice juicy shrimp.

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  1. The best octopus I've had was at Babbo in NY. I'd be inclined to find a recipe by Mario Batali and follow that for preparing the octopus. Other than that experience, it's always been chewier than I liked.

    2 Replies
    1. re: zoogrrrl

      I highly recommend the octopus at Harvest Vine. It is very tender and very tasty. At most of the restaurants where I have ordered octopus, the octopus is overcooked, dry, and tough. This includes some very highly regarded restaurants, like Sitka & Spruce. Another source for high quality octopus is a good sushi restaurant, like Shiro or Kisaku.

      1. re: Tom Armitage

        When I was last at Txori, they weren't doing Octopus, b/c they couldn't get their usual source (Spain) and were not happy w/ what was available locally. I thinkt that the source is equally as important as technique. I have heard that it overcooks very easily which is what leads to the rubbery factor.

    2. Part of the issue is that it can be tough to find octopus that isn't precooked. I've been wanting to make this portuguese fejioda recipe that seems somewhat similar to the OP's. Mutual Fish told me they rarely keep raw octopus around because it spoils quickly. But unless you start with raw, you can't really tell how long the thing has been cooked when you begin, setting the stage for untoward toughness.

      I'd agree that Harvest Vine makes good octopi; Txori's is awesome.

      2 Replies
      1. re: equinoise

        I thought they had it frozen at Wild Salmon--am I misremembering?

        1. re: equinoise

          I see it frozen at mutual fish all the time.