3 cups fresh herbs of choice, such as oregano, rosemary, bay leaves, laurel, sage, thyme, basil, or parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 cup olive oil
2 to 3 medium lemons
Wash the octopus thoroughly under running water and cut the head of with a sharp knife.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Place the octopus in the pot, cover it and return the water to a boil. Boil the octopus slowly for 25 minutes.
Take the octopus from the boiling water onto a cutting board and chop off its head. Discard the head for this recipe.
Line a Dutch oven or similar pot with a nest of your choice of Spanish herbs and spices. Possibilities include a combination of oregano, rosemary, bay leaves, laurel, saffron, sage, tarragon, thyme, basil, or parsley. The octopus meat absorbs the flavors of the herbs and spices.
Nestle the octopus legs into the nest of herbs. Cover and cook for three to four hours at 200 F until tender.
Cut the octopus into chunks and keep warm.
Meanwhile, put the salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic in a mortar and pound it until it is a paste.
Slowly add the olive oil, stirring and mashing all the while. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you could use a food processor, but the texture will be different.
While the octopus is still warm, put it into a large bowl and toss with the paprika-garlic sauce. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the bowl and toss to combine.