Sous Vide Octopus and Fennel with Blood Orange and White Beans
In search of spring, this dish partners octopus with unexpected ingredients, sure to make you reconsider this not so common seafood.
When I first purchased my Sous Vide Supreme the very first thing I cooked in it was octopus. I am a huge fan of this tentacle creature of the deep, but all too often it can be overdone, dry and unappealing. Not to mention, cooking octopus is an ordeal. From boiling to grilling, there are many steps and the intimacy necessitated to prepare this ingredient can often leave you less than excited to consume the finished product.
This is where the sous vide cooking method really shines. It perfectly and tenderly cooks the delicate octopus, without over doing it, and it is exceptionally easy.
If you have ever had octopus at a restaurant, you have probably had it served with a Mediterranean flair, with rich olive oil, tomatoes, capers and olives – all absolutely delectable accouterments to this versatile meat. However, because of its versatility, it can take well to many flavours. Here I opted for a more sweet and rich iteration while still attempting to keep it fresh and light.
Blood oranges have deep, almost burnt caramel-like nuances, while still retaining the zip of fresh citrus. Fennel itself it inherently sweet. Here simmered in the sous vide with the scent of saffron shows a new, almost smoky side of this vegetable perfect for a springtime lunch.
Sous Vide Octopus
8 Octopus Tentacles
¼ cup of chopped fennel
½ cup chopped white onion
1 teaspoon of butter
Set the sous vide to 180F
In a vacuum bag layer the octopus tentacles with the fennel, and white onion. Dollop atop the octopus the butter
Vacuum seal the bag and place it in the sous vide water bath and cook for 4 hours
Once 4 hours has elapsed remove the octopus and let cool in the bag until it can be handled
Set a grill pan over medium heat
Remove the octopus from the bag and discard the onion and fennel
Grill each octopus tentacle until slightly charred
Remove from the grill and toss with half of the blood orange vinaigrette (recipe below)
Sous Vide Fennel
1 bulb of fennel, cut into 4 wedges
1 teaspoon of butter
1 teaspoon of salt
Generous pinch of saffron
Two hours into cooking the octopus, place the fennel, butter, salt and saffron in a vacuum bag and seal
Place the bag into the sous vide water bath and cook for two hours
White Bean Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
White Bean Salad
1 can of white kidney beans, drained
1 green apple, skinned and cut into 1 cm cubes
1 blood orange, skinned, seeded and cut into segments
Juice of 1 blood orange
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl
In a large glass bowl combine the beans, cubed apple and blood orange segments and toss with half of the vinaigrette
On each plate place a scoop of the salad, a wedge of the fennel and two tentacles
Enjoy with a dry rosé