Baby Octopus salad

May 22, 2010  •  Category:


When the weather is warm, who wants heavy food?

Light, grills in five minutes, baby octopus salad is the answer in my book.


  • 1 pound baby octopus
  • 2 large lemons
  • olive oil
  • Dressing: 2 cloves of garlic, mashed with a pinch of salt, juice of a large lemon, olive oil, a generous pinch of hot Aleppo pepper.
  • 2 Large tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 large Armenian cucumber (or any other cucumber)
  • 1/2 red onion sliced


  1. Most likely the baby octopus will already be cleaned and ready to go; if not, you can cut off the head, turn it inside out and scrape out the stuff inside the head; cut the middle hard part between the head and the body.
  2. Place the octopus in a bowl and pour some marinade on it: fresh grated ginger, some garlic, some olive oil, the juice of a lemon. Set aside and heat the grill.
  3. Chop and dice tomatoes and onions and cucumbers and parsley.

  1. Grill the octopus for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the dressing and pour over the octopus and all the other vegetables. Serve.

The variety of cucumber I used for this salad is found at the middle-eastern grocer and is very common in Lebanon, where it is called mekte.

Here, these cucumbers go by the name of Armenian cucumbers. They are very crunchy and have no seeds.


42 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Lentil Breakdown says:

    Wow, I just ordered grilled baby octopus the other night at a Greek restaurant (we’re having synchronicity since I had just eaten baklava as you posted that recipe). The baby octopus were very tasty until I realized how many sentient beings I was consuming and then I felt guilty : ( You gotta admit, they’re kinda cute!
    I’ve never seen Armenian cukes. Your photos are luscious!

  2. Sue says:

    Love your octopus salad!! Not many people are familiar with Armenian cucumbers. I wait for them every year with anticipation. My dad farms rows of them for me every summer. Just seeing them on your site makes me hungry. I look forward to your posts. 🙂

  3. fimĂšre says:

    pour ĂȘtre honnĂȘte je n’ai jamais osĂ© manger de la poulpe, mais ta salade me parait appĂ©tissante et elle doit ĂȘtre vraiment savoureuse
    bonne soirée

  4. Patty Price says:

    Wow, your baby octopus salad is one of coolest looking things I’ve ever seen! Do they taste at all like calamari? I grow the Armenian cukes in my garden, I love them! Your photograph of the salad is beautiful, now I’m going to check out your baklava post, I love your blog!

  5. Joumana says:

    @Patty: they taste like calamari, true!

  6. Rosa says:

    Interesting cucumbers! That is a marvelous dish!



  7. SYLVIA says:

    This is an excellent grilled seafood salad with so many tasty different textures. The Armenian cucumber is so crunchy and tender your taste buds tingle around.
    Joumana, you have so much class, and tremendous cooking talent, your recipes are amazing, and very imaginative dishes. I feel good about preparing them for my guests on many different gatherings , thank you kindly Joumana.

  8. Devaki says:

    Dear Joumana – You are absolutely right! This is a Godsend for the summer. I would eat some now with some warm potatoes. Yum! Lovely fresh flavors of the season.

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  9. FOODESSA says:

    I had grilled octopus lately at a greek restaurant and absolutely enjoyed the tasty and tender texture…minus the unpleasant smell that usually lingers in my kitchen. Basically, what I’m saying is as much as homemade anything is better…I’ll stick to having this in the restaurant! Unless we’re coming to Joumana’s place for delectable Arabic dishes ;o) Thinking of opening a restaurant anytime soon?
    BTW…at our middle eastern grocer they call these cucumbers…’Baladi’ …I never heard of them called Mekte?!? Are they the same?
    Have a great weekend,

  10. T.W. Barritt says:

    Can’t say I’ve ever tried octopus, and I didn’t realize it was so easy to grill. I like the bright, fresh flavors combined here.

  11. Christine @ Fresh says:

    I love your new profile picture! This salad looks terrific! Armenian cucumbers are the best, they are crunchy and have a refreshing flavor. I’ve been meaning to try my hand at cooking octopus, I’ll have to use this recipe the next time I have some.

  12. Ivy says:

    We love octopuses in Greece and eat them very often. Interesting to see the cucumbers. Do you know that the European Community has forbidden the sale of curvy cucumbers? Greek cucumbers are really delicious and especially a variety which is about 4 inches long. They are very crunchy, no seeds and you eat them even with the skin. I am sure you must have them in Beirut.

  13. Heavenly Housewife says:

    I’ve never eaten octopus, but i’d like to try it one day.
    Those cucumbers look beautiful.

  14. Angie's Recipes says:

    A great appetizer!! Cucumber looks so interesting…almost like bitter gourd.

  15. FOODESSA says:

    Hey Joumana…thanks for stopping by and smelling the tulips;o)
    Just so that you know…I realized that you grilled your baby octopus happily outdoors…which in my case is no longer possible. Don’t tell hubby…but I don’t miss that BBQ at all ;o) Anyhow, I do like to be treated and pampered by others at the restaurant once and a while;o)…How about you?
    Have a very pleasurable weekend. Here we actually have Monday off…Yippie!

  16. tigerfish says:

    I don’t think I have tried those curly cucumbers. That must be crunchy refreshing salad 🙂
    I have not handled baby octopus before though I don’t mind eating them.

  17. Viviane, Taste-Buds says:

    I think I can always count on you to get the English name for things that are common here yet you never learn in books! So Mekte is Armenian cucumber!
    I think I might just found dinner for tonight! I have some frozen baby octopi waiting to be eaten, I even have ginger, not Aleppo pepper but I think I will have to improvise!
    BTW I love your new profile pic, very artsy!

  18. Simply Life says:

    I’ve only had octopus once in my life- this looks so fun!

  19. sophia says:

    I don’t think I can find those cucumbers where I live…but I MUST make this octopus salad for my dad!! He LOVES octopuses!!!

  20. deana says:

    I just can’t bring myself to cook octopus… they are so adorable! YOu are really pushing me to try with that photo and recipe… so simple and good! Maybe a larger piece would seem less daunting…

  21. Katerina says:

    I love baby octapus especially now that summer is on its way here in Greece. I can imagine the picture: baby octapus, ouzo(Greek spirit), Greek salad all of them neaby the sea. Just perfect. Great choice!

  22. Mary says:

    As it happens, I love octopus, but have never had it grilled. I’ll have to try this. It really sounds delicious. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  23. Sushma Mallya says:

    i never had that one, but lovely pic…

  24. Faith says:

    I’ve never had baby octopus, but I’d love to try it. This definitely looks like the perfect summer meal. I’m going to look for those cucumbers — they sound delicious!

  25. Foodycat says:

    Oh this looks good! I’ve never actually cooked octopus myself, but this salad makes me want to try!

  26. sweetlife says:

    My daughter was just talking about an octopus salad….I didn;t have a recipe, how funny I log on and you have a great one posted…this looks great I must find these cucumbers…


    I love the new pic…beautiful

  27. citronetvanille says:

    Oh la la, j’adore les petits poulpes, quelle salade inventive et appĂ©tissante, je n’ai jamais achetĂ© ces concombres, j’utilise toujours les Persian cucumbers mais ceux-ci me semblent encore mieux adaptĂ©s a ce genres de salades. Magnifique!

  28. Marc @ NoRecipes says:

    I wish I could find octopus that small! Your salad looks wonderfully light and refreshing. I love using lebanese and armenian cucumbers in Japanese dishes because they are very similar to Japanese cucumbers (thin skin, crisp. and with no seeds)

  29. Nadia says:

    This salad looks so fresh. Where did you get such beautiful baby octopus? I have never seen them like that.

  30. Suman says:

    hmm..thats a tempting salad…love Armenian cucumber in it…unfortunately I have never seen Armenian cucumber here in markets…

    Also, the pic is lovely!

  31. Arlette says:

    yummy and gorgeous salad
    I started some Mekti seeds and iam waiting anxiously to my seeds to come up.
    I think you are ready for your next step… All the best with your move… Allah Maiik, I wish I can do this step as well, and settle in Lebanon… But I am praying that one day i will be able to do so.
    We will keep in touch for sure, and I will watch for your new recipes.

  32. Mimi says:

    I haven’t had octopus in years. This reminds me of what I am missing. Beautiful salad.

  33. cmiranda says:

    I’ve only ever had baby octopus once in my life and I lightly sauteed it in oil with garlic but this salad showcases it really well.Perfect recipe for the summer months.

  34. domi says:

    Tout simplement excellent, j’ en ai les tentacules gustatives qui se mettent en mode gourmandes….et quel joli visuel !!

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