Many years ago, our friend hosted a party. It was memorable for several reasons: 1) She never hosts anything 2) It was for her 33rd birthday, which seems like a century ago and 3) There was this special octopus.
I've been thinking about this grilled baby octopus for the last six years. When I saw that Super King was selling frozen packs of already cleaned baby octopus, I went for it.
Because this party happened sooooo long ago, my friend couldn't find the recipe she used, so I found my own. It was Greek-inspired and easy. And it didn't require any boiling, just marinate and go straight to the grill. So, we invited ourselves over to said friend's house and brought along the octopus. It took a lot longer to grill up, but it was fresh and delicious. We spent the afternoon watching our babies (she now has two!) and drank wine leisurely in their backyard (as leisurely as is possible with three kids around).
It was nice watching the kids gobble up baby octopus and play together. Her daughter patiently helped Viggo buckle his seat belt on her bike and they were being all cute and very grown up, which made me feel sad yet content at the same time. And I guess I realized that's pretty much how the last few months can be summed up for me. It's been fun to watch Viggo grow, with everyday there's something new and funny to witness, but it also breaks my heart a little to see my baby disappear. Oh man, was he a great baby!
A few weeks went by and we saw more octopus at Super King and decided it was time for round two. I was determined to find the original party recipe and casually brought up my search to another friend who attended the evening. And lo and behold, she had it! Being smart enough to get the recipe the day after the party, it was saved in her Gmail, just waiting for someone to use it. This time we invited friends to our house, and sat out in our backyard (which has gotten very little attention this summer), drinking champagne cocktails and rosé, watching Viggo trying to get into all kinds of trouble.
This recipe was much different. It required boiling the octopus for 45 minutes in wine and broth and then marinating in balsamic vinegar overnight. This version was sweeter tasting, and only spent a few minutes on the grill.
Version two, simmering away.
Eleni enjoying the octopus. We're lucky we don't have picky eaters. At least not yet!
The kid is obsessed with bubbles. And we're kind of over it. But he does look adorable parading around the block with his bubble mower.
Viggo recently learned how to smile when asked. It is not a pretty sight! He strains his face and does a funny squint. We can't get enough of his fake, ugly grin.
My baby looking like a boy.
I'm going to share both versions here, for whichever suits your mood.
Version one (I added fresh oregano and savory to my recipe, along with preserved lemons).