Black octopus with beetroot topped with gremolata

While we would usually associate black octopus with ink, in this recipe Michael Diacono turns this octopus black using red wine and beetroot. He tops the salad with a gremolata for a little bit of crunch. 

Black octopus with beetroot topped with gremolata


  • 1kg octopus
  • 1 large beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 750ml red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stick celery
  • ½ carrot
  • Handful parsley
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 4 small potatoes, boiled
  • Salad leaves


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Handful black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 slices stale bread, ground to breadcrumbs
  • Handful parsley


  1. To make sure the octopus is tender, freeze for at least three weeks.
  2. Thaw the octopus to room temperature and then wash well.
  3. Boil the octopus in red wine with the beetroot, garlic and bay leaves for 1 hour.
  4. Leave to cool to room temperature in the cooking liquid.
  5. Remove from the pot and cut the octopus into bite-sized pieces.
  6. Finely dice the carrots and celery and add to the octopus
  7. Add the lemon juice, boiled potatoes and a glug of olive oil.
  8. To make the gremolata, fry the garlic in olive oil until fragrant.
  9. Add the black olives and the breadcrumbs and fry until golden.
  10. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  11. To serve place some salad leaves on a plate, top with octopus salad and finish with gremolata over the top and a wedge of lemon.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today TV, aired on TVM on 23 June, 2016. 

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