Cretan Recipes

Octopus stew (stifado) with fava bean spread

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Octopus stew (stifado) / fava bean spread / onion dolma / shallots / green apple / rosemary oil

Fava bean spread
500 g fava beans
700 ml water
300 ml olive oil
300 g white onion, salt/pepper

Octopus stew (stifado)
Octopus (2 kg)
800 g shallots
100 ml olive oil
200 ml red wine
50 ml red vinegar
1 laurel leaf
1 sprig of rosemary
5 sprigs of fresh thyme, peels of 1 orange
5 g peppercorns
2 pieces of star anise, 5 cloves
1⁄4 nutmeg
50 g tomato paste

Rosemary oil
100 g rosemary leaves
100 ml olive oil
100 ml sunflower oil


Stathis Pakourelias
Asset 1

Fava bean spread
Heat 100 g of olive oil and soften the onions in rings with some salt over low heat. Wash the fava beans and add them to the onions with water. Simmer until the mixture gets creamy. Add the rest of the olive oil and mix in the blender. Add salt and pepper.

Octopus stew (stifado)
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the octopus, cover with the lid and cook at high temperature for 10 minutes. Open and add the spices, the onions and the tomato paste and finish with vinegar and wine. Add a little water, cover with the lid and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove and cut into portions. Chop the head and the tips to make the onion dolma.

Onion dolma
Peel two large white onions, make a cut from one side until the centre and boil them for 20 minutes in a saucepan over low heat with one part of the stew sauce and two parts of water. Remove the onion leaves. Stuff with the finely-chopped octopus and the finely-chopped aubergine (equal parts) and chives. Wrap the leaves and simmer with its liquids for another 10’.

Rosemary oil
Heat the oils to 60° in a saucepan and using a mixer blend with the rosemary leaves very well. Strain through a fine conical strainer (chinoise).
Serve by placing the fava bean spread as a base and the octopus with the shallots on top, the onion dolma in the centre and garnish with sauce, very thin green apple sticks, and rosemary oil.