Octopus Tacos with Roasted Romanesco and Grilled Radicchio and Habanero Aioli

Recipe contributed by Chef Omar Huerta, Playa Mill Valley

Photography By Natalie Cody Gantz | September 12, 2017


Yield: 10-12 TACOS

For the Octopus Tacos

Olive oil for grilling
2 cups octopus
2-3 cups Roasted Romanesco (recipe below)
2 cups Grilled Radicchio (recipe below)
2 cups Habanero Aioli (recipe below)
1-2 large jicama, sliced into paper thin “tortillas”
10-12 leaves of cilantro for garnish

Place medium-sized sauté pan on very high heat, then add 5 teaspoons of olive oil and the octopus.  The pan must be very hot to crisp the octopus.  Turn when done on one side to brown and crisp the other.

For the Grilled Radicchio

4 Castelflanco-variety radicchio, grilled and julienned
3 red bell peppers roasted and julienned
1 cup    Castelvetrano olives, sliced
½  bunch cilantro, chopped
3 teaspoons lemon Juice

For the Roasted Romanesco

2 heads of Romanesco broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper     
Heat the oven to 350° and insert an ungreased sheet pan.
In a mixing bowl, mix romanesco, olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on the hot (very) sheet pan.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

For the Habanero Aioli

2 large egg yolks
1 small garlic clove, finely grated

¼ cup mild olive oil
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼  teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional to season
3 drops Habanero Sauce, or to taste (recipe below)

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the egg yolks and garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade attachment. Process until evenly combined, about 10 seconds.

With the motor running, slowly add the mild olive oil in a thin stream, followed by the extra virgin olive oil, until completely combined, about 2 minutes. Stop the processor, add the lemon juice, salt and Habanero Sauce and pulse until thoroughly mixed. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then pulse until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Taste and season with more pepper and additional salt, to taste. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before using. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Habanero Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 Habanero peppers, diced
2 cups water
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

Place the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot and garlic and sauté until vegetables are soft. Add the diced peppers and water and continue to cook for 10 minutes.  Place in a blender and add the vinegar.  Blend until smooth.

Add the Roasted Romanesco to the roasted octopus, mixing together.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place two jicama “tortillas” on each plate and fill each with the octopus and romanesco mixture. Top with Grilled Radicchio. Using a squeeze bottle, top with the Habanero Aioli using whatever design you prefer – we use lines.  Garnish with whole cilantro leaves.


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