“Too Cute to Eat,” 8 ½” X 20 ½”, color reduction woodcut (bleed print), 2012

Crawford, Cathie

Drowned Octopus

Yield: 4-8 servings boiled octopus.
Drowned octopus is a slightly more poetic way of saying boiled octopus, and this is one of the
standard items in an Italian mixed seafood antipasto. It’s also quite easy to do, and if you have
access to good quality fresh octopus you’ll find yourself making it often. To serve about 4 as an
antipasto, or more as party food:
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
An octopus weighing about 2 1/4 pounds (1 k)
A medium sized bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
The juice of a lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean the octopus and rinse it well under running water. Put it in a pot with abundant cold
water to cover, and set it on a burner. As a general rule, figure an hour of cooking time per
kilo of weight of octopus, or about 25 minutes per pound, so here you will need to simmer
your octopus for an hour; to check for doneness stick the base of a tentacle with a skewer or
toothpick. If it penetrates easily the octopus is done. Turn off the heat and let it cool some in
the water it boiled in.
While the octopus is boiling, wash and pat dry the parsley, peel the garlic cloves, and mince
the parsley with the garlic.
Drain the octopus, cut it into bite-sized pieces, and arrange them on a serving dish. Sprinkle
the minced herbs over the octopus, followed by the lemon juice, and then a drizzle of olive oil.
Season lightly with salt and pepper, stick the pieces with toothpicks, and serve either warm or
cool as you prefer.