- 1 medium octopus (about 21⁄2 pounds)
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 1⁄3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Makes 4 to 8 meze servings
1. Wash the octopus and pat dry. Rub the octopus with a little olive oil and hang on a clothesline outdoors in hot weather for 24 hours. If this is impossible, clean the octopus (remove the hood and beak, page 462) and place it in a dry pot. Heat over a very low heat until the octopus has exuded all its liquid, about 45 minutes. Drain well.
2. Have a large sheet of parchment or wax paper ready. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the octopus on the parchment. Sprinkle it with the garlic, parsley, and pepper and wrap it in the parchment. Place in a lightly oiled baking pan and bake the octopus until tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately, cutting it into pieces along its tentacles.