Purpo â nzalata (Octopus salad)

The Mediterranean Sea is the natural habitat of the octopus and the culinary tradition that sees the octopus as protagonist of many Neapolitan dishes dates back to ancient times.
In Neapolitan cuisine, among the various testimonies found, a mosaic from the excavations of Pompeii and kept at the National Archaeological Museum of Napoli, depicts an octopus in the center of the entire scene.
The many testimonies bring back the tradition of the octopus, prepared as a salad, in Palermo, Sicily.
Octopus salad is a fish dish that can be served as an appetizer or even as a main course. Fresh and delicious in Summer, it is also very popular in Winter.
There are several salad octopus recipes. There are those who prepare it with celery, potatoes, white olives and those who, like Alberto Pagliarulo prepare it in a traditional way. By following Alberto’s suggestion on making a traditional Neapolitan “nzalata ‘e purpo” you only need the octopus and few fresh ingredients such as garlic, extra virgin olive oil, parsley and lemon. The goodness of this dish is entirely entrusted to the quality and freshness of the octopus, so these few ingredients are enough for a delicious octopus salad to be enjoyed on hot Summer days.


2 Octopus of 500 g
2 Cloves of garlic
1 Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Beat the octopuses on a marble surface or, however hard, to soften them.

2. Clean them by eliminating mouth, eyes, blister with ink. Then rinse them well.

3. Prepare a pot of salted water. As soon as the water boils, immerse the octopuses and cook until they are very tender.

4. Prepare chopped garlic and parsley.

5. When the octopuses are cooked, let them cool.

6. When they have cooled, cut them into slices, season with the oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley and garlic.

7. Decorate with lemon slices and a sprig of parsley. Serve and enjoy!


Octopus Neapolitan recipe