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Octopus: The Unexpected Delicacy That Gives Potato Salad A Unique Twist

Octopus and potato salad
Octopus and potato salad - OlgaBombologna/Shutterstock

When most of us think of potato salad, what comes to mind is a creamy side dish perfect for breaking out at picnics, cookouts, and other casual get-togethers. While there's nothing wrong with traditional potato salad, you can turn it from a laid-back side into show-stopping Mediterranean fare by adding an unexpected protein: Octopus.

Octopus is tender and has a sweet flavor that complements the earthy taste of the potatoes. At the same time, it's a meat that tends to mop up other flavors well, meaning it can pull in the taste of your dressing or sauce. Taking note of the octopus and potato salads in Mediterranean cooking, like Croatian octopus salad, the octopus is the star of the dish instead of the potatoes.

Octopus potato salad is generally served chilled, although you could also enjoy it at room temperature if you prefer. Aside from the excellent flavor combination in this dish, since the main ingredient is octopus, it's also nice and light. That makes it a great appetizer, side dish, or even standalone main course for warmer days.

Read more: 12 Underrated Types Of Fish You Should Try At Least Once

Readying Your Potatoes And Prepping The Octopus

Person boiling octopus
Person boiling octopus - RusAKphoto/Shutterstock

To get started making an octopus potato salad, you'll first need to choose and prep your ingredients. For the potatoes, you can choose whichever variety you like, whether that's a buttery Yukon Gold or a more mild Idaho potato. Once you've selected your potatoes, there's no need to peel them. Just wash them and then boil them until they're tender. From there, drain and cool the potatoes and finish up by cutting them into small chunks, about ¼ to ½ inch. The goal here is for them to be bite-sized and not so large that it becomes difficult to eat your salad.

Besides the potatoes, you'll also need to ready your octopus. Fresh or frozen works here, but if you're using fresh, you'll need to clean it first. You can save yourself some trouble by asking the fishmonger to do it for you when you purchase it. Whichever route you go, you'll then add it to a large pot of salted water. You can also throw in a few bay leaves for extra flavor. Simmer the octopus until it's tender or can easily be pierced with a fork. Once it's drained and cooled you can chop it into bite-sized chunks about the same size as your potatoes.

Adding The Sauce And Other Mix-Ins For Extra Flavor

Bowl of octopus potato salad
Bowl of octopus potato salad - tasha_lyubina/Shutterstock

With the potatoes and octopus ready, the last step is to make your sauce and put the salad together. For this potato salad twist, rather than making a heavy, creamy dressing, you want something more complementary to the octopus. All you need is a bit of lemon juice, olive oil, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper for seasoning, allowing the main ingredients to shine. The sauce is light and citrusy with herbal notes, the perfect match for the sweet seafood and hearty potatoes.

If you want to add even more flavor to your meal, you can ramp things up with a few extra ingredients. Add celery or pine nuts for a bit of crunch, or add some bitter, briny notes with olives or capers. Another choice could be seasonings like garlic or crushed red chili pepper flakes. Have some fun and play around with different additions to come up with a lighter, Mediterranean twist on potato salad that's sure to wow guests at your next warm-weather get-together.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.