How to Make Jim Brady’s Spanish Octopus

Bring the flavor of this local restaurant home
Jim Brady's Spanish Octopus
Jim Brady’s Spanish Octopus

Jim Brady’s, which operates locations in both Royal Oak and Ann Arbor, offers a delicious Spanish Octopus — topped with romesco, salsa-verde, baby arugula, and garlic aioli — on its menu. Here, the local restaurant shares the recipe for the delicious appetizer.

Jim Brady’s Spanish Octopus Recipe

(Recipe is for whole octopus, which makes 8 servings)

Octopus ingredients

1 frozen octopus (one “leg” per dish)

1 yellow onion, large dice

3 carrots, large dice

1 teaspoon thyme

7 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon black peppercorn

2 750 ml. bottles of white wine

3 wine corks, optional

Octopus directions

Take frozen octopus and place in pot.

Cover with onion, carrots, thyme, and garlic. Sprinkle in peppercorn.Pour all wine (and corks if using) into pot. Pour as much water as needed to submerge octopus. Cover octopus with kitchen cloth. Bring liquid to a boil, then turn down to a medium bubble. Let bubble for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Check octopus for tenderness under the tentacles. If a knife easily pushes into the thickest part of the flesh, it’s cooked. If more time is needed, re-cover the octopus and return to pot until tender.

Ingredients to assemble 


1 cup arugula

Cooked octopus

Salsa verde**

Garlic aioli***

*Romesco ingredients

(Makes 2 quarts)

5 cherry tomatoes, oven roasted

3 roasted red peppers

1.5 oz. garlic breadcrumbs

3 oz. rosemary almonds

5 oz. garlic confit, cloves separated from oil (save the oil)

2 Calabrian chilis

3 tablespoon Calabrian chili oil

2 oz. sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper

Romesco directions

In a food processor, add roasted tomato, roasted peppers, breadcrumbs, almonds, garlic confit, and Calabrian chilis on a pulse mode until smooth.

Add sherry vinegar and pulse to mix in.

Drizzle garlic oil and Calabrian chili oil.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix until smooth.

**Salsa verde ingredients

1 lemon

0.5 oz. white anchovies

2 cups of fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley

2 tablespoons garlic confit in oil, cloves separated from garlic

2 oz. red wine vinegar

2 oz. capers

1 pinch of crushed red pepper

3 cups extra virgin olive oil

Calabrian chili oil for drizzle

Salsa verde directions

Zest whole lemon and juice half of it.

Mince white anchovies and garlic and place in a bowl.

Add herbs.

Add red wine vinegar, garlic oil, capers, and crushed red pepper to bowl.

Stir all ingredients together.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

***Garlic aioli ingredients

(Makes 1 quart)

6 oz. garlic confit, in oil (can be found at most specialty food stores and online)

1 teaspoon salt

1 quart mayonnaise

Garlic aioli directions

Separate confit garlic from oil.

Dice garlic in food processor.

Scrape out garlic and put in bowl.

Add salt and mayonnaise to garlic.

Stir all ingredients until smooth.

Directions to assemble

Add finished romesco to bottom of plate with arugula salad. Place one octopus leg on top of romesco and arugula salad. Drizzle octopus and salad with finished salsa verde. Add dots of garlic aioli on side of plate. Serve.

Jim Brady’s – Royal Oak, 1214 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-306-1954; Jim Brady’s – Ann Arbor, 209 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor; 734-562-1954;

This story is from the June 2022 issue of Hour Detroit.