Thursday, 22 November 2012

Baby octopus pilaf with Swiss chard (Οχταποδοπιλάφι με σέσκουλα)

Here's a one-pot meal that keeps in good shape, which I whipped up last night for today's main meal. I had bought some fresh baby octopus for yesterday's lunch, which I didn't get round to cooking, because the day turned out quite differently to what had been planned. We've also got a lot of Swiss chard in the garden at the moment. Leafy greens pair well with seafood. Only the carbs are missing: voilà, octopus pilaf with Swiss chard.

 I rarely use my white soup dishes for taking food photographs, but I must admit that it makes the colours of the meal stand out magnificently.

Prepare and clean 1kg baby octopus (take out the inky innards and remove the 'eye' in the centre). Place in a pot with a lid and allow to sweat for 30 min on low heat. Drain the liquids, heat 1/2 cup olive oil and add 1 medium chopped onion and 2-3 finely chopped cloves of garlic. Saute with the octopus together for 10-15 min. Add 1 wineglass of white wine and simmer 10-15 min. Grate 1 large ripe tomato into the pot and season with salt and pepper. Add some finely chopped Swiss chard (I used 12 very large leaves) and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer 10-15 min, then take off the lid and stir the contents of the pot. Add 3 cups stock (or water) and 1 cup rice (I used basmati rice which gives off a wonderful aroma). Cook on low heat till rice is done (another 15-20 min).

Swiss chard can be replaced by spinach, and any other seafood can take the place of octopus (prepared appropriately). Basmati rice doesn't swell and clog like other rice varieties, so this dish will re-heat nicely the next day.

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