Canned Octopus with Garlic, Lemon and Parsley

November 19, 2017

canned octopus

Hear us out: there is such a thing as really good canned seafood. We know—your mind immediately goes to Chicken of the Sea and smelly lunch box sandwiches. Ours did too. But on a recent trip abroad, we discovered a long tradition of canning that captures seafood at peak freshness and produces damn good delicacies to enjoy year-round.

The growing availability of high quality canned seafood means you can more readily take advantage of what happens to be an amazing, easy-to-execute appetizer. Most of the hard work has already been done; all you have to do is dress up the canned seafood with fresh herbs, citrus and a bit of seasoning.

Here, we showcase our favorite of all canned seafood: pulpo. Fresh octopus can be a gnarly beast to cook, so having a quality canned option is a huge win. Look for seafood packed in high-quality olive oil or salt water—which may be easier to find at a specialty foods store than a standard grocery. After that, all you need to do is open the can, dress the octopus and serve it with a dish of picks so your guests can spear and enjoy (with some crunchy, rustic bread to catch any drips).

Canned Octopus with Garlic, Lemon and Parsley
Makes 4 servings

One small can octopus, packed in olive oil or salt water
1⁄2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Olive oil
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf of rustic bread, warmed and sliced, for serving

Open the can of octopus. Add the garlic, parsley, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil to the can. Stir to combine and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with toothpicks and slices of bread.

    italian coast