Black lentils, also called beluga lentils, have a firm texture and earthy flavor that plays off the briny, tender octopus. —INGRAIN, Spring 2019
Cut dinner prep in half by making the Pulpo a la Gallega ahead of time (and you thought fancy was only for weekends!).
Pairing This winning combination goes well with a citrusy pale ale like 312 Urban Wheat Ale (Goose Island).
Serves 6 to 8
1 pound pearl onions (purple, white, or a mix)
16-ounce bag black lentils
1 medium head cauliflower
2 tablespoons honey
⅓ cup olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
To serve: parsley leaves + green onions + fennel fronds (handful)
16 ounces pearl onions (purple, white, or a mix). Fill a medium pot with water, bring to a low boil, and slide onions into the pot. Cook onions until tender when pierced with a knife, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off heat, scoop out onions with a slotted spoon (reserve the cooking water), and set aside.
Water back to a boil and add one 16-ounce bag black lentils along with a little more water, if needed, to cover lentils. Cook lentils until tender but still firm enough to hold together, about 30 minutes. Strain lentils and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1 medium head cauliflower in half, remove stem, and slice into small florets. Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Warm 2 tablespoons honey in a small saucepan and stir in ⅓ cup olive oil + 1 teaspoon kosher salt + 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, to taste. Pour olive oil mixture over the cauliflower and roast until cauliflower is tender and beginning to brown along the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate baking sheet and stir the cauliflower once or twice while roasting.
Pulpo a la Gallego (tentacles only) in its cooking broth on the stovetop over medium heat. Pile lentils in the middle of a large serving platter, and arrange the pearl onions and cauliflower alongside. Place octopus tentacles on top of lentils and drizzle cooking broth, to taste, over the top. (The broth will likely be salty; taste before adding any salt or pepper.) Scatter a small handful of parsley leaves + green onions, sliced, + fennel fronds (optional) on top, and serve salad at room temperature.