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Octopus with Aubergine Caviar

Compliments of the Grace Santorini. Try your hand at smoking octopus and then serve it with aubergine caviar and lemon caper chutney, a great summer appetizer.
 
Quantities Serves 6
 
Ingredients
 
Smoked Octopus:
750 gm octopus
A few wood chips
Few sprigs of thyme
½ peel of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 star anise
½ tblsp Juniper berries
A few raw almonds
A few raw hazelnuts
 
Aubergine caviar:
3 white aubergines (about 220gr each)
½ medium Romero pepper
2 tblsp chopped parsley
1 tea sp. crushed garlic
Rock salt and ground pepper
50ml. ext. virgin olive oil
Juice of ¼ lemon
 
Lemon Caper Chutney:
250gr lemon cut into segments
50gr salted capers
250gr sugar
 
Finishing touches:
Extra virgin olive oil
Parsley leaves
 
Preparation
 
Smoked octopus
Heat a heavy pan and add all ingredients for octopus except the octopus itself. On the pan place a grid, and on the grid the octopus with the head side up. Wrap the pan with the octopus with tinfoil and place it on gas stove on high heat for 12min, then continue for another 12min on low heat. Take off and set aside to cool down, then separate each tentacle, sprinkle with olive oil and wrap it in a piece of tinfoil. When you need it oven bake it for 9 minutes on high heat.
 
Aubergine caviar
Halve the aubergines and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Put the pieces back together, wrap them with tinfoil and oven bake them for 45 minutes in 190 degrees or until the aubergine flesh becomes very soft. Then take a spoon and scoop out out all the flesh and place it in a mixing bowl. Remove the skin and seeds from the pepper, chop very fine and mix it with the aubergine flesh. Then add the parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir well.
 
Lemon Caper Chutney
Place the capers in a water bath for 30 minutes and then dry them out. Add all ingredients in a pot on medium heat for about 30 minutes.
 
Plating
Prepare three aubergine caviar quenelles, then place on it slices of smoked octopus and top with chutney. Decorate it with a parsley leaf per quenelle and sprinkle with olive oil.
 
By Head Chef Spyros Agious