Small pan Blender Very large colander Pressure cooker (at least 8-quart capacity) 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds 1?2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 3 cups arugula, loosely packed Juice of 2 limes (about 1?4 cup) 1?2 cup avocado oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt One 3-pound octopus, eyes, beak, and brain removed (ask your fishmonger) 2 to 3 cups kosher salt 2 garlic cloves, smashed Fleur de sel Extra-virgin olive oil
Make the sauce:
In a small pan over low heat, toast the coriander seeds and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to blender.
Coarsely chop the arugula. Add the arugula and lime juice to a blender and pulse to combine.
With the blender on low, slowly stream in the avocado oil. Add the salt and blend until smooth and incorporated. Set aside.
Make the octopus:
In the corner of a sanitized sink (or using a very large colander, if you have one big enough), cover the entire octopus extremely generously with salt; about 2 cups. Rub the octopus with the salt for about 10 minutes, adding salt to replenish what drains off. This will tenderize the octopus, begin to pull out some excess moisture, and remove any sliminess. Rinse the octopus with cool water.
Place the octopus in the pressure cooker. Cover with water and add the garlic and 1 additional tablespoon of salt.
Over high heat, bring the pot, uncovered, to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Then lock on the lid, set on high pressure, and set a timer for 20 minutes. Cook over high heat until steam begins to come out, then turn the burner down to medium heat. After the 20 minutes, release the pressure and set aside to let the octopus cool in the braising liquid until the lid can be removed. Remove the lid and allow to cool further.
Once cool enough to handle, remove the octopus from the pot. Cut off the tentacles as close to the head as possible. Reserve the head for another meal it can be chopped up and eaten in a salad (try it in the Greek Salad with Feta Dressing). Carefully remove and discard any stringy membrane from the tentacles, including most of the membrane from the top of the tentacles (opposite side of the suckers). Refrigerate the octopus until cold, about 2 hours.
HOLD IT? The sauce and the octopus will keep in the fridge, covered, until ready to use; up to 24 hours.
Slice the octopus tentacles thinly on a bias.
PLATE IT! In a bowl, toss the octopus and the sauce. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a few grains of feur de sel. Or arrange the slices in a spiral, starting from the center of the plate with the smallest slices and ending on the outside with the largest. Carefully spoon the sauce on the inside to mimic the spiral. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a few grains of feur de sel.
BREAK IT: Cook the octopus in Earl Grey tea. This will up the bitter notes, but also bring with it some citrus.