Finally, the three darkest months are finished. Also, three of the busiest months at university have come to an end – December was full of deadlines, January was full of exams, February was the month of realization that another semester had begun without me being able to even catch a break. I wish I had more than two hands during that period.
And now it is March, which means it is almost spring. Which means my hibernation is coming to an end. I have time to cook something that takes time. And I have time to catch daylight for food photography.
We had some serious cold here in Belgium , originating from Russia. A true beast from the east. Although temperatures up to (or down to) minus 30 Celsius are not unfamiliar to me from living in Estonia, I thought I had escaped extreme cold by moving to Belgium. But because of people like Trump and other similar irresponsible scum, such severe fluctuations in temperature are becoming the new reality.
Onto happier things – this morning we had 7 degrees and sun. I had time to go to the market. And I wanted food that would reflect the first warmth of spring. I saw octopus and I didn’t look any further. I found my eight arms. I cooked the octopus in barely simmering vegetable stock for about 1.5 hours & let it cool. During that time I made a simple salad of chopped tomato, cucumber, red onion, roasted & fresh bell pepper. Added black olives, capers, and chopped parsley and coriander. Some rocket salad and lots of olive oil and lemon juice. I then griddled the tentacles on very high heat for about one minute and afterwards used blowtorch to add smokiness. It was exactly what I wanted.
With the second part of tentacles I had to go the classic Spanish way – pulpo a la Gallega.
Just pimenton de la vera (smoked paprika, use a quality one), lemon juice, Maldon salt and very good fruity olive oil. Although a Spanish classic, I used Croatian olive oil which has exceptional depth of taste and what I can truly recommend for other olive oil connoisseurs:
And the spring is here again. Both in the air and on the plate.