Grilled Octopus with Squid Ink Lentils

Grilled Octopus with Squid Ink Lentils

I’ll admit it, I’ve been scared of cooking octopus and so haven’t done it before. I’m not sure why, I guess it’s not something I’ve seen many people cook.

I found this recipe in a great book I bought called orexi!, but of course I have changed it a little, as I usually do with recipes. In fact, the recipe is the feature image on the cover, I hope I’ve done it justice. The book is full of amazing recipes and well worth getting a copy if you like your Greek food.

I was able to get octopus from my local fishmonger on the Cambridge market. It’s British octopus, I’m not sure you’ll be able to tell it’s not Greek.



Serves 4

Cooking surfaces

Cast Iron Grid

BBQ Temperature



For the Octopus

  • 2 British Octopus – I had the fish monger clean them but having seen it done, I’d be happy to do it myself now.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp Maldon salt
  • Zest of a lemon
  • Olive oil

For the dressing

  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste
  • A small handful of flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Either Sumac or grated black lime (I use black lime) or both – a good sprinkle (1/2 tsp)
  • Finally sliced red chilli

For the lentils

  • 150g green lentils, dry (lentil vert in Tesco – or Puy lentils)
  • 1/2 tsp squid ink (your fishmonger should have this in a little sachet)
  • 1/4 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced (remove the seeds if you don’t like it hot)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for dressing


To prepare your octopus for grilling

  1. Assuming your octopus have had the tentacles and hood removed, make sure these are all clean, they may have dirt in the suckers. I used a fork to clean them out.
  2. Wash them thoroughly and then add to a pan with the bay leaf, garlic and a 2 tbsp Maldon salt, covering with water.
  3. Bring to the boil and turn down and simmer for about 45 minutes using a pan lid. The flesh should be soft when a knife is poked into it.
  4. Lift the octopus out of the water, draining it and pop it into a bowl. Add the lemon zest and a good drizzle of oil, coating the octopus.

To prepare your lentils

  1. Add your 150g green lentils to a pan with 750ml water.
  2. Bring to the boil for 10 minutes and then simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. They should soak up the water.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the squid ink and stir through (if you have concentrate water it down a little with 1tbsp of water)

To prepare your dressing

  1. In a cup add the olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. 
  2. Add a little salt and pepper. 
  3. Whisk together. 
  4. No add 80% of your parsley and stir through. 
  5. Reserve the remaining parsley.

Searing your squid and warming your lentils

  1. Set up your Big Green Egg for a direct cook with a cast-iron searing grid. You want the temperature to be about 250°C.
  2. All time for the cast iron grids to warm.
  3. Cut the octopus hoods into 4 and with a knife, separate each leg. 
  4. Grill the octopus for about 2-3 minutes a side. You’re looking for it to crisp up and char without overcooking it.
  5. At the same time warm through your lentils in a pan.

Assembling your dish

  1. Sprinkle the lentils over a flat plate. 
  2. Top with octopus.
  3. Now sprinkle over the dressing. 
  4. Add the retained parsley and grate over the black lime. 
  5. Finish with some finely sliced red chilli. 



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