Citrus Marinated Octopus with Labne and Radicchio-Fennel Salad
This elegant octopus salad strikes the right balance between refreshingly light and richly comforting, making it an impressive choice for any occasion. As intimidating as it may seem, preparing octopus at home is easier than you’d think. Octopus can be found at specialty grocery stores (such as Whole Foods), fish markets, and Asian or international markets. The key to preparing this wow-worthy seafood at home is giving the meat a preliminary cook (no matter how you intend to proceed in preparing it) in order to tenderize the meat. In this recipe, we first simmer the octopus in a flavorful, aromatic-filled cooking liquid and finish the cooking process by marinating the pre-cooked octopus in a citrusy vinaigrette. This marinade infuses flavor and continues to break down the protein for a tender, delicious bite. Just be sure not to leave the octopus soaking in the marinade for longer than suggested, as the acid will begin to deteriorate the quality of the meat. That said, the octopus can be poached and refrigerated up to a few days in advance if you want to prep ahead. Similar to kefir, labne is a tangy-rich yogurt cheese that can be found at a Mediterranean, Greek, or Lebanese market or in some specialty grocery stores. Labne is also incredibly easy to make at home if you have trouble finding it already prepared.