Venetian Octopus Insalata

“This is a traditional Venetian dish that you would find in Trattorias and Wine bars in Venice,” says Luke Palladino, chef/owner of Luke Palladino at Harrah’s in Atlantic City. “My friend Gigi at al Mascaron usually has this dish at his bar. It is delicate, delicious and healthy enough for a nice light main course for lunch or even dinner.”

Photo by David Michael Howarth.

For octopus:

1-2# fresh octopus rinsed very well
1 wine cork
1 gallon Simmering water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


1.    place octopus in simmering water with cork, vinegar and salt.
2.    simmer very gently for 30-40 minutes.
3.    fish out a piece of the octopus to check for doneness, cut a piece and take a bite, if it is tender to the bite it is done, if it is chewy, it needs more time.
4.    once done, cool in cooking liquid.
5.    once cool, slice into half inch pieces cut on the bias .

Octopus Salad:

1 Red onion, sliced and soaked in ice water for 10 minutes, then drained
4 ribs of Celery hearts (the white inside part of the celery), peeled and sliced on the bias
Sliced octopus
Cooked “gigante”, or “corona” white beans
2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped
Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of quality red wine vinegar
¾ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


1.    place all ingredients in bowl, season and let marinate. Eat.

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