Octopus salad: a must-try dish in Croatia

Food & wine

Nothing says authentic Dalmatian cuisine like fresh seafood, and the classic octopus salad is a prime example of the principles of this cuisine - simple, fresh and delicious!

There are various ways of preparing an octopus, but the two most common ways are under the lid (peka) and as a salad.

Both versions of this popular Croatian food take about the same time to be prepared, with the longest part of preparation being toughening down the octopus’s meat.

A fresh octopus is characterized by moist skin, tough meat, and the smell of the sea. The most common trick for breaking down the muscular meat is to freeze the octopus and keep it in the freezer for two days – the cold will help tenderize it.  

When preparing it, it first needs to be cleaned. This is done by removing the octopus’s teeth, eyes and outer membrane and turning the octopus inside out to remove its insides.

A Mediterranean salad for every palate

After the octopus is cleaned and thoroughly washed, it’s put in boiling (unsalted) water for an hour. When it’s cooked, the octopus is washed again and cooled down a bit under a stream of cold water. Now it’s cut into 1 cm wide pieces.

This kind of tender octopus can be seasoned with virgin olive oil and wine vinegar, followed by capers, olives, and parsley. For those who like more aromatic food, it’s more than ok to add some garlic and spring onions.

For a more satisfying meal, this salad can be served alongside potatoes, red bell peppers and cherry tomatoes.

If you’re interested in trying the octopus salad or octopus under the lid, you’ll be happy to know that the chefs in the restaurants of our Camp are absolute masters of octopus dishes.

When you’re having this delicacy, complete the experience with a glass of local red wine. If you’re not familiar with the wine selection in Croatia, don’t worry. The restaurant staff in our Camp is well versed in food-wine pairings and they’ll happily give you the best recommendations.

Put Croatia on your foodie wishlist and explore its gastronomical delights. Start your adventure in Camping Village Šimuni!