Seared Octopus with chermoula and preserved lemon
At Little Summer in Napa, Calif., chef Ben Lacy starts by vacuum-sealing octopus with olive oil, and whole fennel seed, star anise and coriander. He cooks it in sous vide at 185 degrees Fahrenheit for around 12 hours until it’s very tender.
Meanwhile, he simmers toasted sunflower seeds with garlic, thyme and chicken stock for several hours until the seeds break down, and he purées them with Greek yogurt.
At service he sears the octopus on a hot flat griddle to get a good caramelized exterior and plates it over the sunflower seed purée. He garnishes it with a salad of watercress dressed with slices of preserved lemon and chermoula made of toasted cumin seed, toasted coriander seed, cilantro leaves, parsley leaves, ginger, thyme, confit garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, Aleppo pepper and salt.