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Baby Octopus Salad

['"2 1/2 lb cleaned baby octopuses (see cooks note, below), thawed if frozen", 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf', '1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil', '2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice', '1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (preferably Sicilian)', '1/2 teaspoon black pepper', '1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano']

Rinse octopuses under cold water, then cover with water by 2 inches in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot. Bring to a boil with bay leaf, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until octopuses are tender (tentacles can easily be pierced with a fork), about 45 minutes.
Transfer octopuses to a colander with tongs, then discard cooking liquid and bay leaf. When cool enough to handle, cut off and discard heads and halve octopuses lengthwise. Cool to room temperature.
Whisk together oil, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, and oregano. Toss octopuses with dressing and marinate, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes at room temperature.

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