Bear with me while I write the post. I am suffering from a lack of sleep after piping that I think where 1,500 petals last night on to some cupcakes, which I will be posting later. Me very sleepy, fingers a little cramped.
When I was a kid my grandmother would make this salad and it was one of the few things I would refuse to eat. Great way to start off a food post huh? Of course I don’t think anyone can successfully feed a child salted cod. If you have please let me know. After much protest from both me and my sister this was no longer offered in our household.
Moving forward to present day. When I first moved to Florida my mother-in-law would make this and everyone loved it, especially Hubby. I thought is was bizarro because all I could remember was how much I protested when I was a kid. After some reluctance I decided that I would give the salad a try. After all I didn’t like pickles and mustard when I was a kid, but I eat them now. I was surprised to discover that I was actually enjoying it.
It is such a simple recipe and perfect for the summer. Although the main ingredient is salted cod it is not overly salty and it is not fishy. It is really a great combo of mild saltiness from the fish and sweet from the combination of tomatoes, onions and olive oil.
First rinse the salt off the cod. You don’t have to scrub it or anything because we will boil out more of the salt. If you have the time you can also let it soak for about 30 minutes. I usually don’t have the time so I just give it a good rinse.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop your cod in let it boil for about 10 mins and then change the water. Repeat this step 3 times, changing the water each time. During the second boil you will be adding some additional ingredients into the water.
While your cod is on its first boil, peel some plantains. I only did 2 since their is only two of us.
Now this step is here purely for educational purposes because to my dismay I bought these over priced yucca roots, to discover they were bad.
The waxy, bark looking thing in the first photo is a yucca root, also referred to as a cassava root. It is a starch much like the potato, but has to be cooked much longer. The yucca root can be difficult to peel since the skin resembles a bark. You have to sort of carve it off. If you have a really sharp and strong potato peeler it can help. You want to peel it until you see white.
When you peel yucca root is should come out white, not with black lines like these have. This is a bad root. Usually you can tell the root is bad if you break it and the ends are clean but this is not always the case as I learned here. I have been trying to find yucca root ever since I moved to OK and have failed every time. I would usually buy it already peeled and frozen when I lived in FL, but I can’t find them like that here. This was my 4th, count them 1st…2nd…3rd…4th attempt at buying fresh yucca here at a local grocer and every time this is what I get. Grrrrrr. I even went to Whole Foods and this is what I got! So annoying!
Needless to say these had to be chucked. In their place I made a pot of white rice.
Thinly slice 1 large yellow onion.
Cut 12 green olives in half.
Cube 1/2 of one large avocado or a whole small avocado.
Now moving on to one of my new loves. Meet the heirloom tomato. I have never tired a heirloom tomato before, but they were just sitting there staring at me when I was at Whole Foods. It was so funky and bumpy….and yes ths one stinking tomato what like 4 bucks but I soon discovered it was well spent.
I was never a huge fan of the tomato. I always would kind of shrug my shoulder and say ehhh, no biggy. I never understood it when people would say that they could just eat it like an apple because they are so sweet. Personally I never thought tomatoes had much taste to them at all. Apparently I have just been eating those over processed tomatoes, because this tomato was one of the sweetest things I have ever tried. When I ate it, suddenly all the little taste-buds in my mouth were doing the electric slide. It was heavenly.
This tomato was sooooo tasty, it was sweet and suple. If you ever have $4 to blow on a tomato? I say do it.
I though that I should honor it with a little supermodel photo shoot. I set up the stage, the lights and even got out the fan….you know just for effect.
Fabulous darling….fabulous. Turn left….chin up. Ok not the side….YOUR A TIGER….GRRRRRR. Yeah baby…YEAH!
Ok enough of that .
Dice your tomato
By now you should be on your 2nd boil for the cod fish. Add 2 eggs and your plantains to the water to boil. I let the eggs boil for about 7 minutes, transfer to a bowl with some of the hot water and let it sit about another 5 minutes or until ready to peel and dice.
Boil the plantains until the are tender, they will transfer into the 3rd boil.
Peel and dice your eggs.
Transfer onions into a large bowl. Drain the cod fish, reserving some of the water to keep the plantains in until ready to serve.
Add the cod fish to the onions.
Mix it together breaking up the cod fish.
Drizzle with olive oil, appox. 2 – 3 Tbs and toss.
Served over a bed of rice with boil plantains on the side. Keep the olive oil handy, we always drizzle a little more over everything.
Now I don’t have a finally picture because….well we were hungry and I didn’t get a chance to take one. :D
If you like fish you will love this salad. Trust me.
Let’s break it down.
Ensalada de Bacalao (Salted Cod Salad)
- 1 lb of salted cod
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 large tomato (heirloom is the best)
- 1/2 large avocado or a whole small avocado
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- 12 green olives
- olive oil
- 2 boiled green plantains (optional)