Roasted Red Grape, Octopus and Fingerling Salad with Lime Aioli

Day PartDinner
Menu PartAppetizer/Small Plate
Cuisine TypeAmerican

Chef Scott Samuel
Director of Culinary Innovation
San Francisco

Chef Samuel develops recipes with a focus on health and wellness, using fresh fruits and vegetables to create flavor and color contrast. Roasting grapes intensifies their flavor, creating a sweet, juicy counterpoint to the potatoes in this salad. Lime aioli adds another shot of freshness to the octopus appetizer.


5 lb. octopus, cleaned and cut
1 cup daikon radish
½ cup + ½ tbsp. salt, divided
2 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs
3 tbsp. olive oil (plus extra for grilling)
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Fingerling potato salad
1½  lb. red seedless grapes, divided
1 lb. fingerling potatoes
Olive oil, for roasting
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and rinsed
½ cup pitted olives
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. lime juice
½ cup fruity olive oil

Lime aioli
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. lime juice
½ cup fruity olive oil
Kosher salt and cayenne, to taste


1. For the octopus: Prepare octopus by rubbing with daikon and ½ cup salt to tenderize and clean the meat. Rinse and dry the octopus, then toss in a bowl with the remaining salt, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, olive oil and red pepper flakes. Refrigerate mixture to chill thoroughly. Meanwhile, preheat a water bath to 143 F.
2. Divide octopus mixture between 2 sous vide bags and vacuum seal under full pressure. Place in water bath and cook for 6 hours. Remove and chill completely for several hours before using.
3. Remove octopus from bag and toss in olive oil with some salt and pepper to taste; bring to room temperature before grilling.
4. Prepare a wood or charcoal grill. Grill octopus over medium coals; cool and slice into diagonal pieces.
5. For the salad: Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss 1 pound grapes with enough olive oil to coat; roast on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the stems; cool grapes for later use.
6. Reduce oven to 325 F. Cut potatoes on bias and toss with a little olive oil, cayenne and salt. Slow roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are soft; cool and set aside. Halve remaining red grapes and set aside.
7. For lime aioli: In small mixing bowl, whisk egg yolk with lime juice and a pinch of salt.  Slowly add olive oil in a steady stream to develop an emulsion; continue adding until you have a thick aioli. Season with salt and cayenne.
8. To assemble salad: Chill 8 small plates. In a mixing bowl, combine cooked octopus, roasted grapes, fingerling potatoes, parsley, olives, lemon zest, lime juice and olive oil; toss to combine.  Spread a little lime aioli on each plate and top with a small mound of salad. Garnish salad with halved grapes and serve.

Photo courtesy of California Table Grape Commission

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