Grilled Octopus with Preserved Lemon and Walnut Tarator by Maria O'Meagher

Grilled Octopus with Preserved Lemon and Walnut Tarator by Maria O'Meagher


1 kg octopus hands (approximately 6 individual tentacles)
Lime wedge to serve


500 ml extra virgin olive oil
250 ml red wine vinegar
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle dried chilli paste
3 peeled garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 bunch parsley, chopped

Walnut Tarator:

190 g panko crumbs soaked in milk
400 g walnuts
3 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
500 g strained Greek Yoghurt
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preserved Lemon*:

5 lemons
1/4 cup salt, more if desired
5 to 6 coriander seeds
3 to 4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Lemon juice, if required


Rinse octopus and cut into individual tentacles. Simmer octopus in boiling water for 40 minutes with a splash of red wine vinegar and salt. Remove from heat and let cool. Peel the skin from the octopus using a tea towel. Place the peeled octopus and marinade into large bowl and marinate in the fridge overnight.


Soak panko crumbs in milk to cover. Squeeze dry and set aside. Place garlic into a food processor with motor running, then add nuts until finely ground. Add panko crumbs, lemon juice and strained Greek yoghurt and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in salt and pepper.

Preserved Lemon:

You can place all these ingredients into a streilised jar and cure in the fridge for a month before use, or you can buy preserved lemons from your nearest providore or supermarket.

Remove octopus from marinade and place on a preheated hot grill and sear for about 2-3 minutes on both sides. Remove from the grill and place on serving plate.

Sprinkle octopus with finely diced preserved lemon, serve with a dollop of walnut terator and wedge of lime on the side and finish with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Recipe provided by Aristotle's Neutral Bay