Wood Grilled Octopus with Merguez and Hummus

Recipe courtesy of Chef Dan Wright
Show: America's Best Bites Episode: Abigail Street
Prep: 1 hr 30 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 2 hr 30 min
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked spanish paprika (sweet)
  • 2 wine corks
  • 1 medium octopus (about 5 pounds) (will shrink extensively)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Extra-virgin olive oil, for sauteing
    • 6 cloves garlic
    • 1 pounddried chickpeas, soaked overnight
    • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
    • 1 cup tahini
    • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • Salt
      • 1 pound ground beef
      • 1 pound lamb shoulder, ground
      • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
      • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
      • 1 teaspoon coriander
      • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
      • 1 teaspoon paprika
      • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • 5 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
      • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
        • 2 jalapenos, finely diced
        • 2 heirloom tomatoes (any ripe tomato will work), finely diced
        • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
        • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
        • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
        • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
        recipe tools


        For the octopus: Heat the oil in a large pot and add the garlic, carrots, onions and celery. Cook until translucent, and then add the broth, vinegar, corks, octopus and some salt and black pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 2 hours, and then remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain, discarding the broth, corks and vegetables. Refrigerate the octopus.

        For the hummus: Heat some oil in a medium pot and saute the garlic. Add the chickpeas, cumin and 8 cups water. Cook until tender over medium heat, 1 hour. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and cool. Once cool, transfer the chickpeas to a blender along with the tahini and lemon juice. Puree slowly, adding the reserved liquid until a paste-like puree is achieved. Season with salt.

        For the merguez: Combine the beef and lamb with the cumin, allspice, coriander, fennel, paprika, cayenne, garlic and onions. Drizzle in the oil for moisture. Saute the merguez over high heat until caramelized and slightly crispy.

        For the salsa: Mix together the jalapenos, tomatoes, onions and parsley in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt.

        For grilling and serving: Heat the grill to high heat. Remove the octopus head and cut into eight legs. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill the octopus directly over the flame until tender and slightly crispy, about 3 minutes per side.

        Top the octopus legs with the salsa, and sprinkle with paprika. Serve over the hummus and merguez, and garnish with fried chick peas.


        This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens have not tested it for home use and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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