recipes, salads

Octopus Salad – Portuguese Recipe

Portuguese Octopus Salad

I avoided eating octopus for the first two years that I lived in Portugal, as I suspected, based on a severe stomach ache when I first moved here, that I was allergic to it. Finally, when out for dinner at a restaurant in Santa Luzia (the ‘octopus capital’ of the Algarve), I gave in to temptation and tried some octopus feijoada. It was delicious and, happily, had no ill effects. The world of octopus-eating had suddenly opened up before me.

This recipe is one of my favourites. It has been pinched from a family member who, after eating an amazing octopus salad in Lisbon, decided to recreate the experience at home. It is simple, healthy and delightful served with warmed slices of dense, chewy Portuguese bread.


This serves four as a starter or makes a nice, quick lunch for two.

1 tin Octopus in garlic oil
½ jar Portuguese pickles (mixed cauliflower, gherkin and carrot)
½ red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Handful coriander or parsley, chopped
1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Open the tinned Octopus and drain the oil into a medium sized mixing bowl. Chop the octopus into chunks of about 1 cm (½ inch) and add to the bowl with the oil.

2. Drain the pickles and add to the bowl, along with the red onion, garlic, herbs and white wine vinegar.

3. Season to taste and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if required.

4. Serve and enjoy.