An Octopus’s Garden


Baby Octopus, 1/2  pound uncooked.
A touch of sesame oil, maybe 1/4 teaspoon.  (I used hot)
Baby bok choy, 1
Broccolini,  4 springs
Kale, several handfuls of the chopped stuff
Garlic clove, one large
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
Coconut oil (or olive oil, or canola), 2 teaspoons approx
Maybe 1/8 cup veggie or chicken or fish broth/stock

It took about 50 minutes to prep and cook, but that includes photography sessions.

Baby octopi are making an appearance at one of my local supermarkets.  Unlike squid, to which they are related, you definitely cook them at lengths that would rubberize a squid.  At my supermarket, they come pre-cleaned, and they look kinda cute:

(Okay, arguably, I may have a strange idea of “cute”.)

Get a pot, boil up some water, toss in the octopi (I cut them into halfs or thirds first), drop in that sesame oil, return to boil and reduce to a goodly simmer.  Leave them going for 20-30 minutes while you prep the veggies and play with the camera.

The baby bok choy:

Chop into bite size bits and set aside.

Grab the broccolini and do the same:

Then grab several handfuls of kale, shred them up even further, mix them with the above vegetables, and enjoy the awesome sight of so much green on the plate.  Hmm, I wish I had a red or an orange bell pepper in the fridge, that would be a nice color addition!  Nope.

Chop a few slices of onion, coarsely, and dice up one large garlic clove.  Set them aside separately from the other veggies.

Your octopi (remember them?) should be ready now.  Drain and set aside for a little.  They lose about half their weight while cooking.

In a skillet, add oil and cumin seeds.  This is what the coconut oil looks like before it melts.  I had to quickly take the pic and then finish adding the cumin seeds, since it melts at temperatures approximating summer in some parts of the world.  Coconut oil is supposed to be the next big thing in the nutritional world; I don’t know one way or the other, but the health food store had these jars on sale for half price.  What the hey.

Once this gets sizzling hot (test with a drop of water), toss in the onions and garlic and swish around a bit until the onion goes translucent.

Toss in the veggie pile, and swish that around too, along with your broth, which is basically there to keep you from needing extra oil, and if you use your own stock it should be really tasty.  Don’t overcook.

You can add the octopi in at the same time or after you add the veggies.   Plate and serve.  I figure this serves two if you’re having a side with it. Or, you can pack some for lunch. These little guys cook up pink; perfect for Valentines’ Day. (Dodging…)

I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade.
We would be warm, below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
— The Beatles

Okay, so maybe octopi are romantic, after all!

About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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