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Baccalà Salad

(recipe, Adam Ried)


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Introduction

This dish is adapted from [%amazonProductLink asin=0964360071 "Jasper White’s Cooking from New England"].

Ingredients

  1. ¾ lb. skinned and boned salt-cod fillet
  2. 1 tsp. finely grated zest plus 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed juice, or more to taste, from 1 lemon
  3. 1½ tsp. red-wine vinegar
  4. 1 garlic clove, minced
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  7. ½ cup very thinly sliced red onion
  8. ¼ cup chopped roasted red pepper
  9. 2 Tbsp. chopped hot cherry peppers
  10. ⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
  11. 2 large celery ribs, thinly bias-sliced
  12. 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  13. ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley

Steps

  1. Prep the cod: Rinse the salt cod well under cool running water. Place it in a medium bowl, cover with cool water by about 2 inches and refrigerate, covered, until desalinated, at least 24 (and up to 36) hours, changing the water at least four times during that period.
  2. Cook the cod: Drain the salt cod, place it in a large saucepan, cover with water by about 2 inches, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. As soon as the water reaches a simmer, adjust the heat to low, skim the foam, and simmer gently until the salt cod flakes easily when poked with the tip of a paring knife, about 20 minutes. Drain the salt cod, and when it’s cool enough to handle, pick out and discard any residual skin, bones, or tough bits. Flake the flesh (you should have about 2¼ cups) and set it aside.
  3. Make the vinaigrette: Whisk 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice with the zest, vinegar, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper to taste in a large nonreactive bowl. Vigorously whisk in the olive oil; add the onion, toss to coat, and set aside to soften slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4. Assemble most of the salad: Add the salt cod, roasted red pepper, hot cherry peppers, olives, and celery to the vinaigrette. Toss to combine, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 4 hours) to allow the flavors to develop.
  5. Finish and serve the salad: Return the mixture to room temperature. Add the tomatoes, parsley, and remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice if necessary, then serve.