57 Comments

  1. Oh the joys of living in a large city. Cod is always a welcomed dish in my opinion and yours looks outstanding. Salt cod is a stable in Italian cuisine, especially for Christmas, but they do not combine it with lots of flavorable ingredients, as you did.

    • This is my first time making salt cod. And boy did I love it, Jovina. It was the Italians who bought all of it in my fish store days. And yes, this is what it’s like to live in an apartment in the city. Sometimes it gets out of hand! This dish was so unexpectedly good. I’m going to incorporate it into the rotation. Thanks so much for your comment. I always look forward to hearing from you. 🙂 have a great weekend.

    • Thanks so much, Jenny. I think that’s kind of what my blog has become. My view of the world through the lens of food. Every meal seems to move me in a different way or become reflective of current events. Who knew food could be so meaningful. When you start to pay attention though, that’s what happens. Have a great weekend! xo

  2. Lan | morestomach

    i adore tapas style dining, though i normally just call it picnic-ing.
    here’s to slowing down, being present and nibbling on tasty morsels with our beloved.

    PS. i don’t cook with seafood, and i am so impressed that you were a fishmonger back in the day!

    • Thanks so much, Lan! I wanted to learn a trade and since my parents put me to work early, I figured I’d work with fish! I agree with you completely about picnicing and being present 🙂 xo

  3. Feeling with you, Amanda and now I wish even more we could stand in my or your kitchen, cook some marmalade together and share stories. It would be truly wonderful, especially, if you’d make this for supper – I utterly adore your bacalhau, actually any salt cod dish. N.

  4. Hooray Amanda… a truly sexy dish for Valentines day. When did a grown woman (or man) think that a stuffed toy and sickly sweet candy was foreplay!!
    Your dish would be perfect with a super dry Manzanilla Sherry.
    Cheers, Anna.

  5. I love bacalao and of course the Brandada Lady in the Boqueria. I have a Basque friend in London who tells me she likes to gnaw on little pieces of salt cod, which reminds me of how perfect a preserve it is. Years ago (according to Paul Richardson) drovers (and other travelers) would take a piece of bacalao with them for their journey, wrapped in cloth. Pieces of fish could be broken off to add to a soup or stew for flavour and small chunks could be chewed as a snack. A piece of salt cod will last indefinitely without going off.

    When it’s done well, a bacalao dish can taste better than fresh cod – I don’t doubt that’s the case here 😉

    • You are always such a wealth of knowledge, MD. I love the idea of your basque friend gnawing on pieces of cod. I would do something like that. I love the history of salted cod and the idea of traveling with it. I completely agree with you about it being better than fresh if done well. This salad is fantastic. It’s hearty yet light fresh and briny. Contrasts. We ate it two nights in a row and I’m definitely making it again. Thanks for your compliment. I always look forward to hearing from you.

      • I’m inclined to gnaw a corner of bacalao myself. Do read that book if you come across it – I got it very cheap on Amazon. Paul Richardson is a friend of my friend Susan, who was my host when I moved to Barcelona in 1991. His description of staying with her was almost identical to my own expeirience – it was completely food orientated. I also loved the part where he helps drive sheep along ancient roads and right through the center of Madrid 🙂

        • Omg. Ordering now. You’ve never steered me wrong in any of your links. That’s so cool. I wonder if raw bacalao is like the dried Chinese squid i eat. Probably. You’re a bad influence md.

          • Ha ha – well I haven’t tried it yet (but I will) – it will definitely be very salty, but I’m sure it was a staple for hungry travelers.
            As far as I can tell, salt cod was introduced to Iberia by the Basques (though I’m sure there will be differing opinions), who’d encountered it via Nordic or Icelandic sailors. Stockfish (air dried cod) is mentioned in an Icelandic saga dating back to 875 AD (where it states that Stockfish was shipped to Norway and Britain), whereas salt cod in Southern Europe dates back about 500 years, around the time the Basques, Galicians and Portuguese discovered the Grand Banks and huge stocks of cod. However, it’s worth mentioning that air dried tuna (mojama) has been a feature of Mediterranean cuisine for perhaps as long as 3 thousand years!

  6. Beautiful pics and a charming story to introduce them. I can’t believe that I have never, ever, cooked with salt cod myself. (Spaniard here! Shame on me). You have inspired me to recreate my favourite salt cod recipe from my native Andalusia.

    • Thanks so much for the comment, Anabel. I’m in love with Andalucia and cod. Im as guilty as you are having grown up working in a fish store. I think we should just incorporate it as if we’ve always cooked salted cod 😉

  7. Oh Amanda, I adore bacalhau, and this looks and sounds delicious. I love the tapas-format of this dish too, it is such a wonderful way of eating a variety of little quantities, and sharing a good moment with friends and family. I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten salted cod in Spain, but I have in Portugal, in a variety of dishes (from croquettes, to “brandade”-type dishes), and those are some great memories. I am curious about the taste and texture of this salad. Yum.

    • Thank you, Darya. This dish hails from Portugal, but I’ve only been to Spain so it may have had its origin there. I agree with you about small plates of lots of different things. I really enjoyed this cod salad. The texture was great because I’d the different qualities of textures of the ingredients and the taste was so regionally specific. We loved it. Xo

  8. We have a big Portuguese community in Johannesburg and bacalhau is always on the menu at Portuguese restaurants. I’ve always wanted to make it, but it’s always seemed so daunting! I also have a great memory of eating richly creamed salt cod on little toasts in Venice. Your salad has inspired me to find some salt cod asap!

    • Interesting, Mika. I didn’t realize that. Yes the Portuguese have really mastered fish. We have a Little portugal neighborhood here in nyc where the fish in all of its forms is the best thing in every menu. I have yet to see portugal but the wonderful fish tradition definitely feel into Spain too. I felt the same way about it being daunting, but i soaked it for 24 hrs and it was perfect.

  9. We just got back from Lisbon, where, unsurprisingly, we ate some damn good bacalhau. I love it mixed with little fried potato pieces, caramelised onions, creamy egg and black olives. But this chickpea salad recipe is so appealing too. The textures and the flavours. Delish!

    • Oh nice! What a fun trip. The Portuguese do like potatoes with their fish and i love olives. Caramelized oniond are the best. I should try that next! It’s a similar style. I definitely need to get to portugal. My other fave is the cozido de grao. I eat it all winter. I probably should have linked the recipe in from last year. Best stew ever. I bet you ate well!

  10. Hi, Amanda–As you know by now, we LOVE salt cod. This combo, however, is new to us. I really like the idea of chickpeas and hard-boiled eggs with it. I’ve never come close to soaking cod for a day, but we do simmer it for a bit, so your method is intriguing to me. I’ll definitely give it a try. Lovely pics. Ken

    • Thanks, Ken! Great to hear from you. A lot of the recipes called for boiling. One in saveur called for boiling it 3 times for 20 mins at a time. I just remember the Italian fish store owner helping me fill barrels and new garbage cans with a hose and soaking overnight. I think you could get away with less and sear. It’s a great fish. I now know why you guys love it so.

  11. Lovely dish and pics, Amanda! Stefano would looove the cod (I don’t eat fish! 🙁 ) and I’m going to make it for him! On the other hand, I love your chickpeas and eggs salad! I adore chickpeas and your salad looks to die for! Bookmarking it for the pleasure of my palate! Thank you! 🙂

  12. what a lovely post and of course rock star photos 🙂 The balance between what a job requires and how you want to live your life is a tricky one. My guess is you’re going to find amazing answers to your questions. Not everyone even thinks to ask!

    Was blown away by this sentence: Every storm passes eventually whether it’s a blizzard or a drizzle. Wow–needed to hear that today. Going through major struggles with my youngest and while I hope there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, every day is hard. Your words give me assurance that we’ll eventually move on to a better place. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself here, Amanda.

    • Thank you, Liz. You are so thoughtful. Your comments make me smile. I guess we’re all pulled in so many different directions and we never feel prepared. There is always light at the end. I have just accepted that i cannot see the first through the trees. All you can do is your best and be kind to yourself. The way i find strength and ive been doing this a lot today, is keeping a positive inner monologue. I’m like a tennis player pumping myself up during a match. “Cmon. You’ve got this”. One step at a time. I also actively remind myself to treat myself kindly. The world won’t always do that for you. I bought myself a macaron. Little things. Thanks so much for your comment.

  13. It’ts funny. When I’m attracted to a recipe, it always seems to be yours, Amanda! This is lovely. For a second I thought your boss was really selling cardboard! But then I got it. It’s interesting stuff, salt cod. But it’s a favorite of mine. Love your recipe, and I love this post!

    • Thanks so much, Mimi. I always love hearing from you. I really had no idea what the salt cod was when i saw it stacked up in the store i worked in. It had become a favorite. I was always scared to prepare it. Not anymore. Have a wonderful weekend! Xo

  14. Laughed out loud at your comment that salt cod fish is a tough sell as an ode to St. Valentine. Only you could manage this so perfectly. My terribly English mother used to make us kedgeree for breakfast and when we moved from England to Canada and she could not find smoked haddock – she substituted salt cod instead. Until the cod moratorium hit Canada’s fisheries. I never liked kedgeree but I’d be willing to bet that I would love this salad. Beautiful work.

    • Thanks so much, Lindy. You are too kind. I never had kedgeree, but i do think you’d like this. So glad you like my humor. It gets me through life’s paradoxes with fewer scars. Nice to see you back. Stay well. Xo

Leave a Reply