Skip to main content

Grilled Octopus and Potato Salad with Donkey & Goat's Pet Nat #WinePW

This was a dish that my son picked for his fifteenth birthday celebration (menu). While the kids drank sparkling water and homemade soda, my husband and I opened up a bottle of Donkey & Goat's Pet Nat. What a lovely, summery pairing!

Since I invited the #WinePW crew to pair grilled foods with wine, I decided to share my octopus dish. You can read my invitation here. And if you're reading this early enough, we'll be chatting live on Twitter, Saturday the 10th, at 8am Pacific time. Follow the hashtag #WinePW.

We have some fun summer pairings and topics planned, so stay tuned. The #WinePW crew will be talking "Summer Suppers and Wine" with Nancy from Pull That Cork in July; August has us pouring Rosés with Lori of Dracaena Wines; and we'll be headed to the Iberian Peninsula to explore Spanish wines with Gwendolyn of Wine Predator in September. What a fun line-up!

Here's what the #WinePW bloggers grilled and poured...
In My Glass...

Actually I have to admit that before we finally made it to Donkey & Goat's tasting room in April, I had never heard of a Pet Nat. 'Pet Nat' is short for pétillant naturel and can be made from any grape variety and is an ancient way to make sparkling wine. For the 2016 Donkey & Goat used Chardonnay grapes for their exotic, explosive wine; the 2015 Pet Nat was made with Clairette grapes.

This was a wonderfully aromatic wine whose floral notes immediately tell you it's not for the faint of palate. Think heady honeysuckle and jazzy jasmine. As it gets more air, more brightness and melon and pear notes reveal themselves. And while the bubbles are part of the wine's charm, it still retains a silky almost guzzleable (I'm making that word up, but you know what I mean, right?) quality.

But, resist. Don't guzzle this! Sip it, savor it, and enjoy every drop...preferably with your toes in the sand.

On My Plate...

Grilled octopus is something that I first tried in college when one of my philosophy TAs invited us over to his house for a barbeque. He pulled the octopus out of bucket and tossed it on the grill. I was in love...with the dish, not the TA! Just wanted to be clear.

It does take time as the octopus is braised, then marinated before it's grilled just before serving. But, I think, it's worth the effort!


  • one 5 to 6 lb. octopus, beak removed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C sake
  • 1 C fish stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 2 C water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • one 1” knob fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 T hot chile paste
  • 2 t coriander seeds
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 2 T gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 T unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • Also needed: grill pan (I like cast iron) or an actual grill
  • 2 pounds baby potatoes
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil


Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy lidded pot. Add garlic, ginger, chile paste, and coriander seeds, cooking until fragrant, approximately 3 minutes. Add fish sauce, gluten-free soy sauce, lime juice, vinegar, sake, and stock. Pour in 2 C water and bring to a boil.

Add octopus to liquid, reduce heat, and partially cover pot. Simmer gently, turning octopus occasionally, until flesh is tender enough to cut with a spoon, approximately 60 minutes. 

Pour sesame oil into the cooking liquid. Let both the octopus and the liquid cool. Then pour the liquid over the octopus in a dish with a lid and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 4 hours. Bring the octopus to room temperature before cooking. While the octopus is warming, roast your potatoes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place bite-sized pieces of potato and onion in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Turn the potatoes onto a parchment-lined piece of paper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes. The potatoes will be browned and crisped on the outside, soft on the inside. 

Heat a large skillet or a grill pan, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Slice the octopus into large pieces - I like to keep the tentacles mostly intact and cut the body into 2" cubes or so. Grill to get nice char marks on the octopus.

To Serve
Place the potatoes on individual serving plates. Lay octopus pieces over the top and serve immediately.


  1. Okay, Having never cooked nor eaten a whole octopus before, I have a couple of questions. Other than removing the "beak" is there no other cleaning required? Does it come already gutted? If not, how do you go about cleaning an octopus? This sounds like such a fun dish but I don't have a clue where to start.

    1. Nothing really to clean except the beak. It's not like a squid that has a cartilage pen. It's super duper easy.

  2. Sounds like a refreshing wine! Your son is an adventurous eater to choose octopus for his birthday dinner!

    1. And he's my less adventurous eater! The younger one has me chasing down uni and abalone for his birthday dinners.

  3. I love octopus and have made baby octopus a couple of times. Unfortunately, it's on the "forbidden" list at home and a big one is kind of much for one person (when Julie is out of town). I think I'll need to just stick with it as a restaurant choice for me! Yours looks fabulous, of course.

  4. I am amazed your 15 year old asked for octopus for his bday celebration. Mine only eats it fried. ;-) I am a HUGE D&G fan. Haven't had the Pet Nat, would love to try it! Great party!

    1. Funny. Mine don't like anything fried. Nothing.

  5. Didn't know that D&G changed their Pet-nat from Chard to Clairette! I'll have to pick up a bottle...if there's any left! Cheers Cam!

    1. Emailed you. Pretty sure the 2015 was a Clairette, the 2016 is a Chardonnay.

  6. On my list of good stuff we should have more often: grilled octopus and pet-nat. This is so imaginative and exciting...great elements.

    Thanks so much!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from -  The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors  by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.* Judy, Vicki, and their publisher,  Tarcher-Penguin ,  have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous. This month Sarah at  Things I Make (for Dinner)  has selected  Girl With a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read  Sarah's invitation . She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages. On the Page... While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it. photo by R

Pistachio Dukkah for #HandCraftedEdibles

In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule:  here . This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat! Here's what we're posting this week... Amy's Cooking Adventures  shared her Salted Chocolate Cashew Butter Cookaholic Wife  cooked up Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds Making Miracles  made Honey Roasted Almonds Christmas Tree Lane  posted Crockpot Spiced Nuts A Day in the Life on the Farm  wrote about the Easiest Nut Brittle in the World Sew You Think You Can Cook  prepared Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds Culinary Adventur