Bakalar {Salted Cod} Salad

Using the other half of the salted cod left over from making the fritters, here is a classic and very traditional Dalmatian salad. I prefer to make this with the salted cod as it’s much milder and the flesh is so moist. You can also use the dried cod, which is also sold as stockfish, or from Italian deli’s as “stoccafisso”. It needs a little more preparation than the salted version and I could swear that it doesn’t yield as much flesh. Also, the salted cod is a lot plumper to start with, which, when it’s cooked, gives you lovely big flakes of fish. This is really tasty AND healthy, and after the initial time spent soaking the cod there is not much else left to do.

Traditionally this salad is made up of the cod, potatoes, parsley, garlic, and the olive oil dressing. However, I also like to add some finely sliced spring onion or shallots, and you could also add chopped olives or tiny salted capers.

Ingredients:

approximately 1 kg salted cod, soaked for two days prior {change the water four times a day}, and cut into 3 pieces

approximately 1 kilo potatoes, all the same size, washed, scrubbed and unpeeled

fresh Italian parsley, about a handful finely chopped

1 small clove of fresh garlic, finely chopped

pepper, and a little bit of sea salt

extra virgin olive oil

fresh lemon juice

1. In a fresh pot of salted water bring the whole potatoes to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until they are cooked through. Use a skewer to check when they’re done, and make sure not to overcook them. Drain and set aside to cool for about half an hour.

2. While the potatoes cool you can prepare the cod. Put the cod in some fresh water and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about twenty minutes, then remove the cod pieces from the water and transfer to a large plate to cool. When it’s cool enough to handle flake the flesh into a large bowl, discarding the skin and any bones.

3. Take the cooled potatoes, peel them, and slice coarsely into the same bowl as the cod. Add the chopped parsley, garlic, and anything else you want to add {onion, capers, olives, etc}, and give it a generous drizzle of olive oil. Add some freshly cracked pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, and toss gently to coat everything. Check the seasoning, sometimes it may even need a pinch of salt, and the potatoes really drink up the oil. Adjust the dressing if necessary.

  1. Next time I do this I am going to use the salted cod as you suggest.

    Last Christmas I made it with the dried cod and as delicious as the results were, it was so much work and the smell of the soaking fish seriously attracted the neighbourhood cats to my laundry door. All the bashing, skin cleaning, bone picking makes it such a chore. I just hope it’s not committing some kind of sacrilege.

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    1. Yeah, the dried one takes some effort. I think the salted one also tastes better.

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