Octopus Baked in Paper / Htapodi Yioulbasi
I first encountered this delicious, succulent octopus recipe inland in the Peloponnese, near Mantineia, one of the great wine-producing regions of Greece. Baking octopus in paper helps retain all its juices and also makes for a dramatic presentation. Try it with an aromatic Moschofilero wine from the same region.
- 1 medium octopus about 2 ½ pounds/1.12 kilos
- ¼ cup/60 ml extra-virgin Greek olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves very thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1. Wash the octopus and pat dry. Rub the octopus with a little olive oil and hang on a clothesline outdoors in hot weather for 24 hours. If this is impossible, clean the octopus (remove the hood and beak) and place it in a dry pot. Heat over a very low heat until the octopus has exuded all its liquid, about 45 minutes. Drain well.
- 2. Have a large sheet of parchment or wax paper ready. Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C. Place the octopus on the parchment. Sprinkle it with the garlic, parsley, and pepper and wrap it in the parchment. Place in a lightly oiled baking pan and bake the octopus until tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately, cutting it into pieces along its tentacles.