Baccalà Salad

1 pound salt cod, soaked and drained (see notes)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup whole cured black olives
1 celery stalk, diced
1 T chopped parsley
2 T capers
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Rinse the fish in cold water, then soak for 12 - 24 hours in 2 - 4 changes of cold water. Until it tastes just pleasantly salty. (see notes)

Place pre-soaked codfish in a medium saucepan, add water to cover by 1". Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Do not overcook. Remove the cod and drain the cod well.

In a bowl mix the garlic, olives, celery, and black pepper, red pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil. Break the cod apart in medium pieces and add to the bowl. Toss the cod with the garlic-olive mixture. Refrigerate and let sit for at least one half hour before serving. Serve cold on a bed of lettuce or at room temperature.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


A traditional Christmas Eve dish in many Italian homes. Brands of cod differ in their degree of saltiness: A less salty one may need only 12 hours of soaking, while another could require several days. To test it, simply taste a small piece after 12 hours; you want it to be pleasantly salty but not overwhelming.