Introduction: Italian Baccala (Salt Cod) Salad With Olives
A variation on my grandmother's traditional Italian X-mas eve fish recipe.
1/2 package of salt cod chunks or bits (available in many grocery stores and italian/portuguese shops)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
The Extras You can use many different things: parsley, artichoke hearts, celery. Just keep it
relatively simple and make sure the extras don't outshine the fish.
1/2 cup pitted black olives chopped
one roasted red pepper from a jar, thinly sliced
2 baby carrots, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp olive oil
the juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime
crushed chili flakes
Step 1: Prepare the Salt Fish
Salt cod is salty. So very, very salty.
It's also very delicious if you prep it properly.
To prepare it for any recipe, you should soak it in cold water for at least 24 hours, changing the water a couple of times a day.
Then you're ready to begin.
Cut the Salt Cod into chunks and place it in a pot with water just covering.
Bring the water to a boil, and boil the fish for 3-5 minutes (until it flakes easily with a fork)
Note: scary foam may come to the top of the water...don't panic.
Drain the fish in a colander and leave it there to cool a bit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Step 2: Chop Other Ingredients
While the fish is cooling, chop up the olives, carrots or celery, garlic, and roasted red peppers.
Step 3: Add Seasoning
In a medium size bowl, combine the chopped ingredients.
Add the lemon or lime juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and red chili flakes. Mix.
Step 4: Flake the Cod
Pick up the cod, one piece at a time, and flake it roughly between your (clean) fingers. While you are flaking it you can find any tiny pieces of bone and remove them...even 'Boneless' cod may have the occasional small bone in it, and it's nicer to find them before you or your guests bite into them.
Add it bit by bit to the bowl until you've flaked it all.
Then mix everything together and taste. Adjust seasoning to taste.
I like my very tart and salty.
Step 5: Refrigerate and Serve :)
Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving.
My grandmother served this as a first course with other fish salads, followed by pasta and bread.
I like eating it with blue corn tortilla chips or toasted bread.