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Grilled Octopus and Fennel Citrus Salad

Grilled Octopus and Fennel Citrus Salad

Sip something fun this summer and relax with Portugal’s Casal Garcia wines. Fun enough for a gathering and versatile enough to pair with easy patio meals.
Charred octopus is tossed with fennel, a variety of citrus and a tangy dressing for a perfect grilled summer salad.

Grilled Octopus and Fennel Citrus Salad

Sunday afternoon is my jam.

It’s a day where happy hour at home feels right. A time away from the errands, the emails and a moment to just sink into a state of relaxation before being flung into the (hopefully not too hectic) start of the week. Sunday afternoon is the time to whip up small bites, pour a crisp glass of wine and enjoy the late summer sun on the front stoop with the mister and a few friends.

Grilled Octopus and Fennel Citrus Salad

One of my favorite summer dishes is a bright fennel salad topped with smokey charred octopus. And after enjoying this dish at several local spots, I thought it was time to bring matters into my own hands and recreate the recipe – you know, share the love…because everyone needs this in their summer-lovin’ life.

Grilled Octopus and Fennel Citrus Salad

Pair this dish with a crisp bottle of Casal Garcia wine for the perfect pairing.

Grilled Octopus and Fennel Citrus Salad

The salad is incredibly complex with flavors and texture. The tangy dressing gets lifted with notes of spicy chilies and salty olives. The citrus cuts and adds an extra note of freshness to the charred octopus. Is it possible to have a crush on a dish because…done!

I paired this summer plate with a sweet vinho verde that is crisp, bright and not too sweet. The slight effervescence really adds to the playfulness of the dish and is quite refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. This is truly the happiest of hours – In fact I could enjoy this combo every week until autumn kicks us out!

Grilled Octopus and Fennel Citrus Salad

See Also

If the task of cleaning and boiling your own whole octopus freaks you out a little – Don’t fret! We know it’s intense. Most Japanese markets have pre-cooked tentacles ready for you to pop onto the grill…or you can check with your local specialty market to cook one up for you in advance.

If you want to steer clear from our 8 legged friend entirely…no worries! Try this salad with grilled shrimp or white fish, it’s even 100% fantastic on its own without a protein…just don’t forget the wine.

Celebrate summer with a refreshing poke bowl video recipe that pairs perfectly with Casal Garcia’s crisp wines.

Kristin Guy
Course Salad, Side


Charred Octopus

  • Whole defrosted octopus
  • ½ white onion
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 2 carrots
  • Small handful flat parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Tsp peppercorns
  • ½ lemon cut into wedges
  • ½ cup water


  • 1 Fennel bulb finely sliced with a mandoline
  • 1/2 Orange de-segmented and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 Pink grapefruit de-segmented and coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Green olives coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch Flat Parsley coarsely chopped
  • 2 Pickled Red chilies coarsely chopped directions below
  • Chives finely chopped for finishing

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 4-5 TBS Rosato vinaigrette or White Balsamic
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 TBS pink grapefruit juice
  • 1 TBS orange juice


Salad Directions:

  • In advance, finely mandoline 2 fresh red peppers and quick pickle in rosato vinaigrette or white balsamic. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. Dissect small pieces from both the orange and pink grapefruit and set aside. With a mandoline, finely slice the fennel and add onto serving plate. Top with roughly chopped parsley, halved green olives, pickled red peppers, and citrus. Drizzle with vinaigrette and add 2 charred octopus legs before serving.

To Prepare the octopus:

  • Add all the above ingredients to a large pot. On medium high, simmer until tender 45 – 90 minutes (check after 30 minutes and every 10 minutes after). Remove from pot and bring octopus to room temp. Cut legs from the body, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper then grill on the bbq until slightly blackened. Approx 3-4 minutes.


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