Baby Octopus heads cooked in a mixture of mirepoix & squid ink and marinated in olive brine served with Extra Virgin cold-pressed Olive oil, Red chilli paste and micro Oregano leaves.
To make the olive brined black octopus heads was a journey of anticipation the whole time, beginning with placing the washed severed octopus heads into a small saucepan together with mirepoix sauteed in butter which are aromatics, a combination of diced celery (1 stick), carrot (1 small) and onion (1 small) . I also added 1 bay leaf, sprigs of fresh thyme, a piece of orange peel zest, salt, pepper, enough water to cover the heads, which for me was 1 metric cup and 1 tbsp of squid ink. This was simmered gently on a low heat for an hour covered. While this was happening my mouth was salivating from the smell in the air and after an hour I was ready to just make pasta and run the octopus and its sauce through the pasta and just eat them then and their. I strained the contents of the saucepan, discarding the solids except for reserving the now shrunken octopus heads and returning the strained liquid back to the stove and reduced the liquid down to a syrupy consistency of about 2-3 tablespoons in quantity. I returned the heads back to the saucepan of reduced liquid to coat them in the sauce, this was then allowed to cool completely. Then in a sterilised jar with fitting lid a scraped the heads and the contents of the saucepan and poured in enough olive brine from brined olives to cover the heads, about 1/2 a cup. I then screwed the lid of the jar on tight before shaking the contents and placing in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours, shaking every 6-8 hours to mix the squid ink which tends to sink to the bottom. A day latter the heads had blackened a bit, but to get the black shiny look I coated the heads in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and warmed squid ink just before serving. The oregano was from the garden and is a white greek variety, the chilli paste is just that red chillies pureed to a paste.