1 whole octopus, beak removed
4 large tomatoes, passed through a box grater
1/2 cup olive oil
4 small eggplants, thickly sliced & fried (Japanese eggplants are fine)
2-3 bay leaves
4-5 allspice berries
salt and pepper
1 cup of chopped parsley
fresh thyme or oregano
Pre-heated 400F oven
- To tenderize your octopus, rinse it and place in a pot large enough to contain it and cover. Place on your stove-top over medium heat and after 5-6 minutes uncover to see if the octopus has began to release moisture. Once you see about 1 inch of liquid place the cover back on, reduce the heat to medium low and braise the octopus in its own liquid for about 45-60 minutes or until the tentacles are just fork-tender. Take off the heat and reserve.
- Slice your eggplants into thick slices, season with salt and pepper and add some olive oil to a pan and lightly fry on both sides then reserve on paper-towel lined plate.
- In the same pan, add the remaining olive oil, the grated tomatoes, bay and allspice and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has slightly thickened. Take off the heat and reserve. Pre-heat your oven.
- Use a knife to separate the eight octopus tentacles and place in a roasting pan along with the fried eggplant and pour in the tomato sauce and stir. Season with some salt and pepper and place in your pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the octopus has turned to a deep burgundy colour.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with chopped fresh parsley and fresh or dried Greek oregano and serve with good crusty bread and a Gerovassliou Evangelo.