Octopus, Lentil & Herb Salad

By Carol Dudar

Photos By Ashley Capp, Prop styling by Andrea McCrindle

A delicate starter, lively with citrus, herbs, and new potatoes. (serves 4)


  • 2lbs (1kg) fresh octopus tentacles
  • 1 cup (250ml) small green lentils, rinsed well
  • 6-8 small/medium purple potatoes
  • 2 small heads of frisee
  • 2 heads of radicchio
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 cup (250ml) fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup (250ml) fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup (250ml) fresh dill
  • 4 bay leaves, divided
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) lemon juice
  • ½ cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp (2ml) dijon mustard
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add 2 bay leaves, the lemon and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 50 min or until octopus is tender. Drain and set aside in fridge until ready to use, and octopus has chilled.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring salted water to boil with the potatoes, and remaining 2 bay leaves, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 min or until potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork. Remove potatoes and put into a bowl of cold water. Set aside.

Bring the water back up to a boil, and add the lentils. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the lentils for 15-20 min or until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, and saute the shallots until golden and crispy. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Whisk the lemon juice, dijon mustard, and olive oil together. Season with salt and pepper, and add the shallots. Add the dressing to the warm lentils, mix well and let rest.

In a large serving dish, tear the radicchio and frisse into bite size pieces. Add the mint, parsley leaves and dill. Toss together well. Cut the potatoes into halves, and add to the salad with the lentils. Toss again well.

Cut the octopus tentacles into small pieces, and add to the salad. Mix again well.

Season again well with salt and pepper and serve.

Clear Tip:  livestock agriculture and conventional fishing methods are hard on the environment.  Please choose sustainably raised, organic meat, poultry and seafood whenever possible.  It’s better for you, it’s better for the earth.