Octopus Juice Risotto, Braised Octopus, Broiled Leeks

The liquid let off from cooking octopus is intensely flavored and contains lots of natural gelatin, so makes this risotto extra creamy. This is a restaurant-inspired recipe for the home cook in all of us. For a lovingly curated array of Greek ingredients to pair with this recipe, check out my online store here.
20 min
1 h 30 min


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • Musk or baby octopus 1 ½ pounds /750 g, cleaned and whole
  • 1 tablespoon of good quality tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 sundried tomatoes chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • For the risotto
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 cup Greek Carolina rice or Arborio
  • 5 sundried tomatoes drained and cut into thin slices
  • 2 leeks trimmed and cut into three pieces and then cut along the middle


Prepare the octopus

  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan and cook the onion until wilted. Add the garlic and stir for a minute to soften. Add the octopus. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes, until the octopus starts to exude juices. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, salt and pepper, sundried tomato and wine. Cover and simmer over low heat for about an hour, or until the octopus is tender. Remove one cup of the octopus juice to use in the risotto, and stir int he parsley.


  1. Preheat the grill. Stir the leeks with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and some salt and cook under the broiler / grill for about 6-8 minutes, turning at least once. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. Coarsely chop the broiled or grilled eeks.
  2. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick pan and wilt the onions. Add the garlic and stir for one minute. Add the rice and stir to coat in oil. Add 1 cup of warm or hot water, stirring, until the rice absorbs the greater part of it. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, then half a cup of warm or hot water, stirring until absorbed. Add the juice from the octopus. Add the wine. Add more water, 1/2 cup at a time, until the rice is tender. About three minutes before removing the risotto from the heat, add the leeks. Season to taste. Serve the risotto as a base for the braised octopus.

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