grilled octopus; potatoes, chervil; tomatoes, bronze fennel

I would be completely satisfied with the wonderful variety of seafood we have off our own shores (with a little help from shrimp and trout farmers) if it weren’t for the fact that the order octopada isn’t included.

When we are able to enjoy this delicacy, either we or the octopuses have to get on a plane* to make it possible.

  • four 3 or 4-ounce previously-frozen baby Spanish octopuses (.83 pounds), from our neighborhood Lobster Place, marinated in the refrigerator and then on the kitchen counter for about an hour (the original recipe suggested 2 or 3 hours) in a mixture of 1/4 cup olive oil; one teaspoon of dried Italian oregano from the Madonie Mountains in Sicily; the zest and juice of half of an organic Whole Foods lemon; 1/4 teaspoon of crushed peperoncino Calabresi secchia from Buon Italia; 1/2 teaspoon of salt; and the green part of a spring garlic stem, chopped thinly, the octopus removed from the mix, drained a bit and pan-grilled over a high flame for 10 or 12 minutes mouth/beak side down first, then placed on 2 of its sides (optionally, with a piece of aluminum foil loosely covering the grill pan throughout because of their moderate thickness in this case), served with a squeeze of the same lemon and some olive oil, and garnished with chopped fresh oregano from Neversink Farm
  • Pinto potatoes from Norwich Meadows Farm, boiled with a generous amount of salt until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried while still inside the large, still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, tossed with a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and some micro chervil from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • six halved Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods Market, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, heated gently, face down, then turned, inside a medium copper skillet, garnished with micro bronze fennel from Two Guys from Woodbridge

* I’m assuming octopuses fly to get here.