MKR Recipe: Twice-cooked octopus with green romesco, slow-roast tomatoes and jamon crumb

MKR Recipe: Twice-cooked octopus with green romesco, slow-roast tomatoes and jamon crumb

‘This is the perfect entrée for me,’ announced Manu. ‘The octopus is cooked perfectly. Smokiness. Saltiness. Just bloody yum!’ Both he and Matt gave the starter a perfect 10 for Sophie and Katherine’s Instant Restaurant. Even the other contestants had to agree: ‘It just absolutely works. It’s unbelievable,’ the Spanish Foodies team groaned.

Here’s how you can make it at home.

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 2 hours

Serves: 12


4 kg large (600g-Ikg each) octopus, cleaned

8 bay leaves

4 garlic cloves, smashed

4 shallots, peeled and halved

4 tbs cooking salt

8 tbs extra virgin olive oil

 For the green romesco

6 bunches parsley, stalks removed

2 jalapeno chillies

4 cloves garlic, peeled

160g hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed

2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika

4 tsp sea salt

4tbs white wine vinegar

400ml extra virgin olive oil

 For the slow roast tomatoes

1.2kg ripe medium-small tomatoes (Sampari)

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt flakes

 For the jamon crumb:

50g fatty jamon, finely diced

200 ml olive oil

200g fresh breadcrumbs

To serve: micro herbs/parsley leaves, extra virgin olive oil



  1. Place octopus in a pressure cooker, along with the garlic, shallot, bay leaves, salt and enough water to cover.
  2. Bring up to pressure then turn heat down and pressure cook for 12 - 15 minutes. (The cooking time depends very much on the size of the octopus: 12 minutes if they are 600g, and 15 minutes if they are Ikg each). When done, de-pressure, remove and cool.
  3. Cut tentacles off legs and toss gently in olive oil.
  4. Preheat a barbecue to high and cook tentacles till nicely charred on each side.

For the green romesco sauce

  1. In a food processor, pulse chop the hazelnuts. Remove.
  2. Pulse chop the parsley, jalapeno and garlic. Add the chopped hazelnuts, paprika, salt, vinegar and oil and process till a thick, chunky sauce.

For the tomatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Halve the tomatoes, place on a baking paper lined tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Roast for 1-2 hours or until starting to dry out and brown but still juicy. 

For the jamon

  1. Heat oil and cook diced jamon till the fat has rendered and the jamon is crisp. Remove.
  2. In the same oil, fry breadcrumbs till crunchy and golden. Stir through the jamon and reserve.

To serve

On each plate, spoon an 8cm diameter circle of green romesco. Place 5 overlapping tomato halves in the centre of the sauce and top with an octopus tentacle. Place a line of jamon crumb down the centre of the plate, drizzle olive oil around and garnish with a few small parsley leaves or microherbs.

Ready for the next course? Grab Sophie and Katherine's recipe for roast spatchcock with nduja, fresh corn polenta and grilled radicchio here!

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