Provençal Octopus Brochettes served Tapas-style
Provençal Octopus Brochettes served Tapas-style

Provençal Octopus Brochettes are skewers of octopus tentacle sections that have been marinated in herbs and lemon juice, then grilled until just beginning to char. They make a delicious first-course appetizer, or one of a series of offerings in a Tapas meal.

To make this dish, you will need a few octopus tentacles, minus the tips, that have been tenderized by pre-blanching them as per the process described in How to Prepare Octopus. The tenderization will also be enhanced if the octopus is frozen after blanching and then thawed.

Preparation and Grilling

For the marinade, you can use any blend of herbs you like, including a commercial Herbes de Provence blend, but, here, the marinade is made with extra virgin olive oil, a generous splash of lemon juice, pinches of salt, chopped thyme and crushed rosemary leaves, along with just a little pureed garlic.

Prepare the tentacles by cutting them into bite-sized sections, marinating them for a minimum of one hour (or overnight) and then threading them on to skewers. Grill over a high flame until charred here and there and then serve on a bed of very thin lemon slices. If desired, brush the octopus with a little of the remaining marinade to add a nice glossy sheen and garnish with sprigs of thyme.

Another Serving Idea for Provençal Octopus Brochettes

Provençal Octopus Brochettes served atop a Pasta Salad
Provençal Octopus Brochettes served atop a Pasta Salad

The brochettes benefit very nicely from being marinated a second time once they have been grilled and allowed to cool, and you can do this while you make the pasta salad you see pictured above and then serve the two together. Here, a good amount of pasta is served in a bowl with three octopus skewers to make a pretty substantial first course, or even a light lunch, but you could also put a smaller amount on a flat plate to make a ‘bed’ for two brochettes, replacing the lemon slices used in the first picture.

To make the salad, boil and then rinse some fusilli (rinsing is only employed when using pasta in cold dishes), then toss it with a little oil, pepper, dried thyme, and dried oregano. Let this sit for a little while to let the flavors blend and then, just before serving, stir in just enough mayonnaise to very lightly coat the pasta, along with diced tomato and (optionally) fresh basil cut chiffonade.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!