Ceviche octopus sandwich with red bell pepper and caper
A traditional Portuguese dish with a twist!
It's almost a month since we returned from Madeira and I already started reminiscing the island's indolence, the steep cliffs and the gigantic tropical trees. But what I miss the most are the irrestistable Portugese dishes; red fish soups, roast beef, tropical fruits in every corner and the ceviche fish and seafood.
In order to prepare the fish and seafood with the ceviche way, you immerse them in lemon juice for several hours. The citric acid from the lemon marinates and "cooks" the flesh, without any substantial cooking. They end up kind of pickled I would say. This method reminds me a lot of our preserved fish in Greece. However, in this case we work with salt not lemon. With the ceviche de pulpo (a.k.a. octopus) I decided to make sandwiches that overflow with Greek flavors and aromas (see. olives, capers and red pepper). Yam!
Ingredients (make sandwiches for 5-6):
- 1 small octopus (min. 1kg, cause smaller octopuses are not allowed to be fished)
- 6 juicy lemons
- a perfect bread for sandwiches
- 2 medium red bell peppers
- lots of caper
- olive paste
- red onion (optional)
- fresh parsley (unfortunately I used frozen one)
- salt and pepper
- virgin olive oil
In order to achieve the lemony flavor of the octopus, squeeze all the lemons (except of one) into a bowl and immerse the octopus inside. We did it for several hours (18 to 20), to be sure that the citric acid penetrated the flesh. After this time period, test the octopus and if it is too hard (generally the lemon juice hardens the meat/fish flesh), boil it for 5-10 minutes in the lemon juice. Remove the octopus, let cool and cut into thin pieces.
For the sandwiches slice the bread, spread the olive paste, add the octopus, the chopped red bell peppers and onions (optionally). Sprinkle with plenty of capers, parsley, fresh squeezed lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil.
These mouthwatering sandwiches make an amazing ouzo meze! Bon appetite!
Credits || Authors andPhoto: Despina Kortesidou