Chickpea Purée with Grilled Octopus, Mexican Chorizo and Cilantro Salsa Verde

chickpea puree with octopus, mexican chorizo and cilantro salsa verde

I know that I am the best cook(er) in the world because my three year-old son tells me so when I make him fridge surprise for dinner. (The surprise being that there is anything remotely edible in our fridge.) Naturally, this makes me exceedingly happy, especially so since he tends to eat such meals with gusto. However, it is not just gastronome children who appreciate our particular brand of cookery. No, indeed. Last year, one of our pictures (from this post) was liked on Instagram by top Philadelphia restaurant Alla Spina, no less.

At the same time as reddening our cheeks and swelling our chests with pride, this never-repeated feat made me wonder at the true level of antipathy between culinary professionals and hobby food bloggers like ourselves. After all, we, the bloggers, secrete ourselves in the anonymity of the interwebs as authorities on this and that, often making our own versions of dishes eaten out, and put ourselves at the mercy of the opinions of the web browsing public and Google’s ever-changing algorithms, to see if they can tell, well, shit from shinola, to quote my father-in-law. Culinary professionals on the other hand, test themselves against the approbation of a finicky public every night of the week, and I can’t imagine it is not frustrating to them that some amateurs like us are blowing up the top spots on search results with our versions of their recipes, most of which we only make once or twice.

So, in an attempt to redress the chef-blogger karmic balance, we present to you this dish of chickpeas pureed in ham stock and dotted with chunks of grilled octopus, Mexican-style chorizo and splats of cilantro salsa verde. It is not a half-arsed recreation of a dish we ate out somewhere, though it very well could be, it is something that leapt forth one day from the frothy runnels of our very own minds. In truth, scratching our heads, we have never seen anything like this on a menu anywhere, and while modesty prevents us from suggesting that should any chef deign to visit this here website and find inspiration for their menu, we would be no means upset. In fact, it very well might make our year. Were anyone else to even consider trying it, we’d be pleased as punch too.

Chickpea Purée with Grilled Octopus, Mexican Chorizo and Cilantro Salsa Verde (serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main)


  1. 2x 16oz cans chickpeas, drained
  2. 1 pint warm ham stock
  3. 1lb octopus, boiled and cooled
  4. 1lb Mexican-style chorizo links, or hot Italian sausage
  5. 1 bunch cilantro (fresh coriander leaf)
  6. 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  7. 5 tbsp olive oil
  8. juice of 1 large lemon
  9. salt
  10. black pepper
  11. cold tap water


  • In a food processor of blender, blitz together chickpeas, ham stock, and black pepper, until mixture is a smooth puree. Go easy on the stock to start with. You can always thin it out but you can’t thicken it once all the stock has been added. Taste and correct seasoning.
  • Heat your grill/barbecue/griddle pan to screaming hot, rub octopus with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt, and grill until nicely cooked, crispy and charred in spots, 3-6 mins, depending on thickness of octopus.
  • On same grill/pan, but only on medium heat, cook Mexican style chorizo in its casing until cooked through. 5-8 minutes
  • Using a mortar and pestle or stick-blender, combine cilantro, hot pepper flakes, 4 tbsp olive oil, juice of the lemon, some water and salt to make your salsa verde. Sauce should be runny like a sauce but not liquid.
  • While cooked components are still warm, plate dish and serve with crusty bread, and/or a green salad on the side.

10 thoughts on “Chickpea Purée with Grilled Octopus, Mexican Chorizo and Cilantro Salsa Verde

  1. If I would have seen this last week I might have passed it by. BUT, Friday I had a fabulous pasta dish — merguez in pasta with a creamy chickpea sauce that was FABULOUS. I am seeing my jar of dried chickpeas with new eyes that see great potential –– not just base for falafel.

    Bravo for the nod from professionals… I know they pay attention and “borrow” from bloggers because they have told me so!!

    1. @Deana: chickpeas really can be that good, can’t they? This puree is really velvety and rich tasting with the ham stock. I’m glad to hear that the professionals borrow from the bloggers, not just because that may increase my chances of this cracker appearing on a menu one day, but because I feel that helps repay the debt we have to them for providing inspiration to us home cooks.

  2. What an interesting combination of ingredients. This looks delicious. I guess you have access to fresh octopus in your neck of the woods, but there is none to be found in the northern part of MD where we live. We had the most sumptuous octopus in Italy and I can’t imagine that frozen could compare. Have you ever tried frozen?

  3. @Laurie: funny you should mention that. Frozen octopus can be really good. The freezing process will actually help tenderize a large octopus, which can be tough. (Kind of like the way fishermen beat a fresh octopus against a stone to tenderize it.) We bought our octopus at Whole Foods, which often carries it. Failing that, a lot of Asian markets will carry it too. Almost all of what you will find will have been previously (or currently) frozen. And, failing that, you can mail order it. La Tienda has wonderful frozen octopus from Spain.

    @Joan: thanks! It was mighty good. Sometimes throwing together what you have at hand can turn out well!

  4. Thanks,
    I love La Tienda. I order my anchovies and chorizo from them. Will check it out!

    By the way, I hope your financial situation has improved. What a shitty thing to do to someone at Christmas with a baby on the way.

    1. @laurie: thanks for asking. It was a shitty thing to do and typified the people there but we’re doing better now. We still have some way to go but leaving that place was a good thing however it happened.

      1. Oh, and we’re part of La Tienda’s affiliate program so we get a minute percentage of each sale that we drive, so um if you click thru from our site our financial health will improve a tiny bit!

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