Grilled Octopus Arugula Salad

Grilled octopus arugula salad-1082

Good octopus is hard to find. Hence why I choose to procure mine from Spain nowadays. I bought mine precooked and vacuum-packed, saving me a lot of hassle (and time). They come ready to slice into a cold seafood salad, to warm by slipping the package into a pan of boiling water or to sear briefly in a heavy pan or on the grill with a slather of sauce.

Grilled octopus arugula salad-1003

The pressing question then becomes, what to make out of these tender tentacles? Seeing the weather is warming up, I opted for a simple grilled octopus arugula salad.

Grilled Octopus Arugula Salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • 330g octopus salad
  • 2 cups of arugula
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 lime
  • Black pepper, kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of Pukara’s lime flavoured extra virgin olive oil

METHOD:

  1. Take tentacles out of vacuum sealed pack and wash. Slice octopus diagonally into 2 cm bite-size pieces.Grilled octopus arugula salad-1008
  2. Slice and dice the tomatoes.Grilled octopus arugula salad-1021
  3. Heat a cast iron pan on high heat and add dash of olive oil.Grilled octopus arugula salad-1014
  4. Once hot, throw in the chopped tentacles. As the octopus sears, crack some black pepper and salt to the pan. Squeeze the juice from half a lime too for that extra kick. Sear for roughly 3 minutes in total till you get the lovely golden char marks.Grilled octopus arugula salad-1023Grilled octopus arugula salad-1041
  5. Meanwhile, toss together the arugula and diced tomatoes with two tablespoons of Pukara’s lime flavoured extra virgin olive oil. Crack some black pepper and salt. Grilled octopus arugula salad-1028Grilled octopus arugula salad-1029
  6. On a clean plate, layer the mixed arugula tomato salad. Add the perfectly seared octopus tentacles on top. Drizzle some more lime juice. Garnish with a wedge of lime to serve.Grilled octopus arugula salad-1061Grilled octopus arugula salad-1062

Grilled Pork Chops with Caramelized Nectarines and Eggplant

Grilled Pork Chop with Caramelized Nectarines (3 of 5)

This is the quintessential dish for warm nights when you feel like making the most out of your grill (be it outdoors or indoors). When it comes to pork chops, the rich and meatiest chops are cut from the center of the loin. Pork chops deliver iron, potassium, and B vitamins, while being about as lean as chicken.

One serving of pork is 3 ounces, approximately a deck of cards, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Association. One serving delivers a huge dosage of complete protein with men getting 43 percent of their daily intake and women 52 percent. Provided you don’t add additional oil, butter or other calorie-laden ingredients, boneless pork chops have only 93 calories and 2 grams of fat per 3 ounce serving. To ensure pork chops remain moist while cooking, make sure you tell the butcher you want the cut to be ~3/4-1 inch thick.

Summer fruits such as peaches and nectarines complement pork extremely well. Here I used nectarines. I found that tossing the nectarine with maple syrup before grilling helps caramelize them. For extra vegetable goodness, I also grilled eggplants and broiled some cherry tomatoes to garnish. To finish, I suggest drizzling some balsamic vinegar to give an acidic bite.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2):

  • 2 pork chops
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 nectarines
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Some rocket to garnish (optional)

METHOD:

1) Wash pork chops and pat dry with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.

2) Preheat broiler function in oven to 200 degrees celsius. Layer washed cherry tomatoes on roasting pan lined with parchment paper. Spray some olive oil to coat the tomatoes and sprinkle some salt. Broil for ~15 minutes until charred.

Grilled Pork Chop with Caramelized Nectarines (2 of 13)

3) Cut nectarines into wedges and put into a bowl. Coat all over with the maple syrup and some olive oil.

Grilled Pork Chop with Caramelized Nectarines (1 of 1)

4) Wash eggplant and cut into 3/4 inch slices at a diagonal. Lightly score a criss-cross pattern into the flesh and brush with olive oil mixed with thyme and rosemary. Lightly season with some salt.

Grilled Pork Chop with Caramelized Nectarines (3 of 13)

5) Heat up a grill pan (I used my Le Creuset cast iron grill pan here) on medium heat. Using tongs, layer eggplant slices evenly and cook on both sides until grill marks form, brushing with olive oil/thyme/rosemary mixture regularly to prevent it from getting dry. Once cooked, remove and transfer to a plate.

Grilled Pork Chop with Caramelized Nectarines (9 of 13)

6) Cook the nectarines on the same grill pan until it chars on both sides (roughy 1 minute each side). Transfer to plate.

Grilled Pork Chop with Caramelized Nectarines (2 of 2)

7) Brush pan with olive oil and place the pork chops onto the grill. Cook roughly 3-4 minutes each side (depending on thickness of cut). Layer pork chops on top of the eggplant and ‘frame’ the chops with the nectarines. Remove blistered tomatoes from the oven and garnish on top of the dish with some rocket leaves if desired.

Grilled Pork Chop with Caramelized Nectarines (1 of 1)

Grilled Pork Chop with Caramelized Nectarines (1 of 1)