Serving
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Octopus with Wine & Fennel
Greek - Crete

Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
8 app  
***
2-1/4 hr  
Yes
This appetizer, popular on the island of Crete, is also served on the Greek mainland but made with a little more onion and a couple cloves of garlic instead of the fennel. It can be served warm or cold for spreading on bread or crackers. My favorite is to spoon some into a wedge of pita bread along with some chopped onions.



3
4
2
8
1/4
1
1/3
1
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#
oz
#
oz
t
t
c
c
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Octopus (1)
Onion
Tomatoes (2)
Fennel bulb
Pepper
Salt
Olive Oil ExtV  
Red Wine dry
-- Garnish
White Onion
Make   -   (1-3/4 hr - 25 min work)
  1. Rinse OCTOPUS. Bring a deep pot of water to a boil and boil the octopus for about 10 minutes. It will stiffen and shrink dramatically which makes it easier to handle and easier to judge what size to cut it to. For cooking details see our Cooking Large Octopus page.
  2. Cut tentacles into pieces of the size you desire. I usually start at about 3/8 inch at the thick end and gradually longer as the tentacle narrows. Cut up the head into similar size pieces.
  3. Chop ONION small.
  4. Scald TOMATOES 1 minute in boiling water, quench in cold water, peel and chop small (see Note-2). Chop FENNEL BULB small. Mix both together with Salt and Pepper.
  5. In a pan sized for the whole recipe, heat Oil and fry Onion over moderate heat until translucent.
  6. Add Octopus pieces to the pan, pour in the Red Wine and simmer covered 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in the Tomato mix and continue to simmer covered until the octopus is no longer chewy - probably more than an hour depending on size of the tentacles. Keep an eye on it to see that it doesn't dry out.
  8. When octopus is done, check seasonings and simmer uncovered until a medium thick sauce consistency is reached.
  9. Serve warm or cold.
NOTES:
  1. Octopus:   Weight is "as purchased" for a single cleaned raw octopus or a couple smaller octopi.
  2. Tomatoes:   If you don't have ripe, really flavorful tomatoes use 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes.
  3. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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