Pulpo y Garbanzos

Pulpo y Garbanzos


Serves 8 people

For the octopus

1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

1 white onion, peeled and halved

1 celery stalk, roughly chopped

2 fresh bay leaves

1 (5 pound) fresh octopus


For the garbanzo beans

2 cups chickpeas, soaked in water overnight

1 carrot, peeled and cut into four pieces

1 celery stalk, cut into four pieces

1 onion, peeled and cut in half

Salt, to taste


For the red pepper harrissa

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into bite size pieces

8 cloves of garlic

16 ounces canned roasted piquillo peppers

2 chilli peppers (serrano, hungarian wax or any of your favorite ones), thinly sliced into rings, seeds intact

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

1 tablespoon maldon sea salt

1 tablespoon pimentón (Spanish smoked sweet paprika)

1 lemon, zest and juice

1 lime, zest and juice


Fill a large 8 to 10 quart pot with water (filled two-thirds of the way) and add the carrot, onion, celery and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and season liberally with salt.


Holding the octopus by the neck, lower the tentacles into the water up to your fingers, being careful not to burn yourself.

Lift the octopus out of the water and wait for the water to begin boiling again.

Lower the tentacles back into the water and then raise again, waiting for the water the boil one more time.

On the third dip, leave the octopus in the water and once the boil returns, cook in a rapid boil for exactly 45 minutes.

Once that time has passed, pierce the thickest part of the tentacle with the tip of a knife. If it goes through easily, it is fully cooked. If not, cook for another 5 to10 minutes, checking the tentacle every few minutes.  


Using a pair of tongs, remove the octopus and place onto a cutting board. Cut off each of the tentacles as close to the head as possible and toss in a bowl with olive oil. These will be grilled later. Discard the head (or eat it! it’s delicious with some olive oil and salt!).  


Prepare the chickpeas by combining them in medium pot with the carrot, celery stalk, onion, and salt. Bring them to a boil until the chickpeas are very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to be dressed later.


Meanwhile, prepare the harissa

Place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the carrots and begin to char, until the surface of the carrots are black, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and toast them until golden, about 30 seconds on each side. Toss in the piquillo peppers and toss to combine. Remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor. Pulse 3 to 4 times until chunky. Set aside.


Grind the chilli peppers, spices, and sea salt in a mortar and pestle. Crush everything for about 5 minutes until peppers and spices are broken down. Add the lemon, lime zest and juice, and olive oil and continue to grind until you achieve a paste. Place the paste into the season carrot mixture, stirring to combine.  Add this harissa to the cooked chickpeas, mixing well to coat.  Set aside.


To finish

Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Take the octopus tentacles and place on the grill until you achieve a very deep char on each side, the darker the better. This should take about 5 minutes on each side. Remove and season immediately with lemon juice and some red pepper flakes.  


To plate, spoon the chickpeas into 8 serving plates. Place the octopus tentacles on top of the chickpeas and garnish with some sliced cucumbers and chopped cilantro. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately.

See the recipe

Yumbang Oh Yeah

Pulpo y Garbanzos

Chef Anthony Sasso from Bar Jamón makes a crazy-good dish of spicy chickpeas and crispy grilled octopus.

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