Baby octopus with hummus, fried chickpeas and olives recipe

Neil Perry
Wood-roasted baby octopus.
Wood-roasted baby octopus. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Gluten-free

We cook octopus in the restaurants on a wood-fired grill. You can use raw garlic for the hummus, but roasting it gives a smoother, sweeter finish. I roast a whole bulb, and then use the pulp in lots of dishes through the week.

Ingredients

500g cleaned baby octopus, or about 750g not yet cleaned (ask fishmonger to clean)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives

handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 tsp smoked paprika

For the hummus

¾ cup dried chickpeas

6 garlic cloves, skin on

2½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp tahini paste

Method

1. For the hummus, place chickpeas in a large bowl, cover with plenty of cold water and soak overnight.

2. Place whole garlic cloves with skin on a piece of foil. Drizzle with ½ tbsp olive oil, wrap up and roast at 170C for 20-30 minutes or until garlic is very soft. Remove from oven and squeeze out roasted garlic flesh.

3. Drain chickpeas, then simmer in plenty of boiling water for 40 minutes or until nearly tender. Add half the salt and cook for another 10 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse and cool. Reserve ¾ cup of cooked chickpeas for frying later.

4. Process remaining chickpeas and roasted garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add lemon juice, tahini paste, remaining oil and salt and process until mixture is smooth. Add a tablespoon or two of water if needed, check seasoning and adjust as necessary.

5. Toss octopus with olive oil, season to taste. Chargrill over a high heat for 3 minutes first side and 2 minutes second side, or until it gets a good colour and char marks. You want that nice barbecued flavour. Rest somewhere warm.

6. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add chickpeas and pan-fry until they turn golden and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Add olives, parsley and paprika, then stir through for a minute. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and remove from heat. Place octopus in the pan and stir through.

7. To serve, evenly spread a few large spoonfuls of hummus on a plate and top with octopus mixture. Drizzle with oil and serve immediately.