Each 0.75 pound octopus serves one person as a main dish. The frozen packages I find in one of my supermarkets contain two each of these. I’m writing the recipe up as per one octopus – scale up accordingly. (I wasn’t sure how this would turn out, so I cooked them one at a time, same method.)
One 3/4 pound whole but cleaned young octopus
5-6 pitted olives (I pick from the variety at the select-your-own supermarket olive stand)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/3 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 teaspoon dried savory (if you can’t find savory [my supermarket no longer carries it, so I bought it online], try tarragon or thyme)
1/4 teaspoon ground lemon pepper
Pinch (~1/16th teaspoon) red pepper flakes.
Thaw the octopus completely in your fridge.
Pre-heat oven to 325 F.
Rinse and dry off the octopus
Place the octopus in aluminum foil — you will want a sufficient amount of foil to wrap up the creature when you are ready.
Add all the other ingredients, and mix with your hands so that the octopus is coated. DO NOT add water. The octopus appears to be made mostly OF water, and water released during the cooking process will itself steam the octopus.
Wrap up and cover the octopus with the foil
The octopus in foil should be put into a baking dish in case anything leaks.
Cook in the oven for 45-50 minutes. (If you do have a larger octopus, you will want to cook the beast longer. For anything larger than a pound, I’d cook at 250 F, and let it cook more gradually out to about 1.5 hours before checking, but in any case I really want to get my brother’s “mature octopus” Greek recipe and post that on the blog sometime!)
Pull out of the oven and open the foil carefully, due to steam. If still tough (which may happen with a really big one), fold foil back and return to cook for another 10-15 minutes.
Your octopus is ready, and can be eaten as is, hot or warm. A suggested side could be a yummy Greek salad. Or, if you prefer, chop it into bite size pieces, and toss into said salad, and serve chilled. (I ate one of these hot as described, and the second in a salad.) Either serving method is very much a success!
Reserve the reddish dark purple steaming liquid it generated, the octopus juice. (Next time I make this I hope to come up with a nutritious and tasty idea for that, and I’ll update here, but I got busy with other things and it passed what I’d consider its “use by” date.)
I don’t believe octopus re-heats well. Enjoy any leftovers cold, or perhaps left to warm to room temperature.