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Baby octopus smothered in escarole

  • 1 hour and 25 minutes
  • Medium
  • Appetizers
Octopus, escarole, olives and capers make for a dish rich in flavor.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • 12 baby octopuses, (about 3 oz. each)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 7 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 2 oz minced parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ¼ lb escarole
  • 3 ½ oz black olives
  • 1 oz capers
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Step 1

Wash and clean the baby octopus and cut the tentacles in pairs.

Step 1 - Baby octopus smothered in prickly lettuce

Step 2

Place a pot over medium heat with a little olive oil. When hot, add the octopus and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 2 - Baby octopus smothered in prickly lettuce

Step 3

Wash and dice the tomatoes. Chop the garlic and parsley. Add the tomatoes, garlic and parsley to the pot.

Step 3 - Baby octopus smothered in prickly lettuce

Step 4

Let cook for 10 minutes, adjust the salt and pepper to taste and stir occasionally. Add the white wine and finish cooking over low heat for another 30 minutes.

Step 4 - Baby octopus smothered in prickly lettuce

Step 5

In the meantime, clean and wash the escarole and cut roughly into strips.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and, as soon as it becomes hot, add the escarole. Saute, stirring gently, for a couple of minutes. Then add the pitted black olives and capers. If the capers were salted, be sure to rinse them under running water first.  
Adjust the salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes on low heat.

Serve the octopus and escarole side by side on the table.

Step 5 - Baby octopus smothered in prickly lettuce

Chef's tips

We suggest washing the baby octopus in salty water so that they do not produce foam while cooking. This dish has a very low starch content so we suggest serving it with potatoes, polenta or beans.

Food History

Known since ancient times and old enough to be mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, capers have always been popular in most countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. In Italy, you will find many of the most sought-after varieties, such as those of Salina and Pantelleria. The latter is characterized by a very strong odor and a salty flavor. These capers are produced on the volcanic island of Pantelleria, located between Sicily and Tunisia and famous for its beautiful coastline. The fertile volcanic soil and a moderate climate have enabled a wide dissemination of the caper plant that typically has a low germination rate, thus giving rise to a unique variety,  famous throughout the world for its quality.

Did you know that...

That capers are the buds of the caper plant and not the fruit?

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