Octopus, frisée and fennel salad with lardons and lentil dressing

For an even simpler version, leave out the octopus and add crisp croûtons instead. Or try it with a poached egg. Or seared scallops.

You'll need

1 kg octopus tentacles 130 gm mild pancetta, or streaky bacon, cut into lardons 1 head frisée, leaves separated 1 fennel bulb, thinly shaved, fronds reserved for garnish (optional) Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste   Lentil dressing 120 gm (½ cup) small green lentils 125 ml (½ cup) mild-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar 1 golden shallot, finely chopped 1 small garlic clove, crushed ½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve


  • 01
  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add octopus, bring back to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until octopus is tender (50 minutes to 1 hour). Drain, cool, then refrigerate until chilled (1 hour).
  • 02
  • For lentil dressing, boil lentils in a large saucepan until tender (15-20 minutes), then drain. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a bowl, add warm lentils, toss to combine and season to taste.
  • 03
  • Fry lardons in a small frying pan, stirring occasionally, until fat renders, and lardons are crisp and golden brown (5-6 minutes). Keep warm.
  • 04
  • Heat a char-grill pan over high heat (or a barbecue). Brush octopus with oil and grill, turning once, until charred all over (2-3 minutes). Chop while still warm and transfer to a bowl. Add lentil dressing, lardons and a little rendered fat from the pan to taste, then add frisée, fennel, lemon juice to taste, fennel fronds and parsley, season to taste, toss to combine and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Tangy chenin blanc.

Featured in

Oct 2016

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