Braised Octopus Salad with Capers and Preserved Lemon

“Braised octopus is one of my favorite things to eat,” says chef Leeds. “I had a hard time finding any in D.C., so I decided to create this dish, which means I can enjoy it any time.”


  • 4 corks from red wine bottles (optional)
  • One 3- to 4-pound octopus, cleaned
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 10 Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon chopped preserved lemons
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the wine corks if using. Add the octopus and cook until tender, about 1 hour. To check doneness, try making a small incision in the octopus with the tip of a sharp knife. If there is little resistance, the octopus is done. Do not cook any further or it will begin to toughen. Remove the octopus from the water and let cool. When cool enough to handle, slice the octopus. You should have about 1 pound of cooked meat.

Warm the prepped octopus in a large sauté pan over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, olives, capers, and preserved lemons. Toss until warmed through. Remove from the heat. Transfer the contents of the pan to a large serving bowl.

Before serving, stir in the parsley and drizzle with olive oil.


4 servings