Octopus With Almond Puree, Garlic, Chilli And Olive Oil Recipe

Cooking octopus can be a challenge, so when Massimo Mele of La Scala on Jersey revealed his secret to cooking octopus in the Electrolux Taste Theatre at Taste of Sydney last week, we knew we had to share the amazing dish that he whipped up using his Nonna’s recipe.

RELATED: Duck Confit With Fennel Salad Recipe

It really doesn’t get much more authentic than this, so enjoy!


1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) octopus tentacles

5 garlic cloves, lightly smashed

1 long red chilli, sliced (seeds removed, if you prefer mild hotness)

1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf (Italian)


1 tbsp chopped marjoram

250 ml white wine vinegar

250 ml mild extra virgin

Olive oil

Extra white wine vinegar, to serve

1 head fennel

1/2 head of raddccio

1 celery heart light green leaves only

Almond tarator

2 slices of sourdough bread

1/2 cup almond meal

2 garlic cloves

1⁄2 cup water

50ml lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Extra virgin olive oil as needed

100ml milk


  1. Place a large saucepan of sea water over high heat and bring to the boil. If sea water is unattainable, add 500g of rock salt to 5 litres (20cups) of water and bring to the boil.
  2. Blanch the octopus three times in boiling water for about 5 seconds each time. Once complete, turn the heat down and add the octopus and potatoes to the same pan. Gently simmer for about 45 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Remove the octopus from the pan and set aside.
  4. Once the octopus is cool enough to handle, chop it into 5 cm pieces and put in a non-reactive bowl.
  5. Add all the remaining ingredients and leave to marinate for 2 hours minimum in the refrigerator.
  6. Remove the garlic. Season with more vinegar and season with freshly ground black pepper. It shouldn’t need any salt.
  7. For the tarator, dip bread in milk and leave for 15 minutes.
  8. Squeeze dry, Place almond meal in processor with garlic. Add water to make a smooth paste.
  9. Add olive oil, a little salt and pepper, lemon juice to taste. A little extra water might be needed. Consistency should be light and fluffy.
  10. To serve place some almond tarator on a plate, top with marinated octopus.
  11. Finely slice some fennel, radicchio and celery heart and place on top and serve.
March 25, 2015

4 Easy Ways to Have the Best Summer BBQ

With Australia Day coming up, forget burnt steak and dried-up sausages on the BBQ: Mark Bennett, head chef of Esca Bimbadgen in the Hunter Valley, shares his top tips, techniques and ingenious hacks to create delicious BBQ recipes to enjoy all summer long.

1. A little heat to cool off
Summertime might be hot but it doesn’t mean the food can’t be. Chillies are in season and they are a great way to liven up a fresh summer dish. Start off with some green chillies if you are new to the heat. Generally speaking the smaller the chilli, the hotter it gets.

2. Get fruity while it’s good
Summer is the opposite of winter in more ways than just temperature. While we’re limited to citrus fruits in Winter, Summer opens the door to deliciously fresh berries, peaches, melons, apricots, pineapples and mangoes. Make the most of this by cutting wedges of peaches and nectarines and searing them on the BBQ with some marinated chicken. Toss the hot stone fruit with some baby spinach, sliced spanish onion and macadamia nuts for a beautiful and fresh summer salad.

3. Barbequing isn’t all about meat
Sick of chicken breasts and turkey burgers? Try grilling your next homemade pizza on the BBQ. Once you’ve piled on your toppings simply place the pizza onto the BBQ and close the lid until the cheese is melted and slightly brown. The BBQ is also perfect for corn, zucchini and summer squash – you can even grill your quesadillas!

4. Use flavour to get creative
The best way to make your BBQ food interesting is by adding marinades and rubs to your meats, transforming a regular chicken thigh or lamb cutlet into a mouth-watering flavour festival. Think fresh herbs, lemon juice, garlic, spices and oil. Even simple combinations such as lamb with red wine, garlic and rosemary can spruce up your BBQ, and don’t forget to season everything with salt and pepper.


January 22, 2014

How to be the Queen of the BBQ This Summer

Dragging out the BBQ on the weekend normally means a feast of snags, steak and beer with friends and family. The experts at Man Law have come up with 10 tips that’ll flip you from average grilling novice to BBQ wizard, with skills to impress any dinner date.

1. To toss or not to toss
It’s a common misconception that flipping the meat frequently causes it to become tough. This is a myth. The last thing you want is an uneven cook on either side, so flip regularly to minimize moisture loss and toughness. Beware though, the Man Law team suggest that any steak tossed more than 150mm above the plate is showing off and runs the risk of losing said steak.

2. Be gentle
Treat the meat with a soft sensual touch. Barbecuing is a delicate process that requires patience, so settle down, and never cut into the meat to check if it’s ready. Use a thermometer to assess the readiness of your meat.

3. Heat isn’t everything
The level of heat is determined by what you’re cooking. If you’re cooking burgers or steak sear with a high heat and then reduce to cook. It’s ok to use thermometers!

4. Sear for flavour and moisture
Cooking meat for a long time can cause it to dry out so sear the meat on a high heat first to seal in the moisture and caramelise for flavour.

5. Cooking fish
Take it out of the fridge 10 – 15 minutes prior to cooking (ensure the dog is on the chain), this allows it to warm up slightly. Score through the skin of the fish but don’t cut deeply into the flesh. Make the cuts diagonally from the head to just before the tail, about 1.5 cm apart, then do again on the opposite angle diagonal. Complete this on both sides and use a fish basket to cook so that the flesh doesn’t stick to the plate or grill.

6. Seasonings
Seasoning and marinades aren’t difficult to make but they can have a profound effect on the taste. Using these products will leave a lasting impression on your guests.

7. Pre-cooking temps
Take steak out of the fridge prior to cooking and allow it to come up to room temperature. This allows for a more even cook and makes it much easier to get the meat to your liking. The only things that should be ice cold are the beers and the chardonnay.

8. Give it a rest
Most meats will taste better and retain more of the yummy juices if you let it rest for approximately five minutes on a warm plate before serving. After serious research the experts at Man Law have determined that the correct resting time for a cooked steak is “one beer”.

9. Good equipment makes the difference
There is nothing more frustrating than cooking a BBQ with flimsy or faulty tools.  We’ve all been there. Investing in a quality set of BBQ cooking and cleaning tools will have you barbecuing with hassle-free precision – like the boss.

10. Cleaning the BBQ
Simply cranking up the heat for ten minutes and brushing off the charcoal and grime is not on. Use the right tools. No one wants to clean the BBQ straight after cooking. Our recommendation is: after dinner while the girls are dealing with the plates is the right time to adjourn to the BBQ while it’s still warm, it will be easy to clean with a good quality scraper. Scrape off the excess before it goes hard and put into some newspaper for disposal, then wipe the plate clean. Beer is a well known aid for doing this and sometimes we even get some on the BBQ plate.

For more cooking tips, ‘how-to’ videos and barbecuing advice or to purchase the very best in BBQ cooking equipment visit

Do you love to BBQ or do you leave it to your man?

December 20, 2013

4 Basic Cooking Tips and Tricks

Top tips you need to know now! 

  • Olive oil can be heated to a much higher temperature than other oils before it changes structure. Olive oil can be reused at least 10 times before its fat breaks down to undesirable types of fatty acid. A very important point to remember is you should not use polyunsaturated oils more than once.
  • If you need to convert kilojoules to calories all you have to do is simply divide by 4.2
  • When cooking meat make sure a BBQ plate is piping hot before you cook. The best thing to do is brush the pan with olive oil. This helps seal the juices in the meat.
  • If you are not sure how to cool tender veal then follow these simple steps. Cook it on a very high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side and then place it in a warm oven for 5 minutes. You will amaze yourself.


January 3, 2000