Ensalada de Bacalao | 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.
It’s amazing how things change because now I can’t get enough of the stuff. Salted cod is a little hard to come by here in Texas but, when I do find it, it’s like I found gold.
It took some time for me develop an appreciation for ensalada de bacalao. When I first moved to Florida, my mother-in-law would make this, and everyone loved it, especially OB. I thought they were crazy because all I could remember was how much hated it as a kid. After some reluctance, I decided that I would give the salad a try. It was like discovering a new love.
This salad has become one of my favorite easy make ahead meals. Served chilled or room temperature it’s the perfect recipe for the summer. Although the main ingredient is salted cod, it is not overly salty, and it is not fishy. It is a great combo of mild saltiness from the fish and sweet from the combination of tomatoes, onions, and olive oil.
How to Soak Salt Cod for Ensalada de Bacalao
The most important part of this recipe is removing just the right amount of salt from the cod. If you don’t remove enough it’s inedible and if you remove too much it’s just bland. I typically will soak the salted cod in cold water for 15 – 30 minutes. I then place it in pot, covered with water and bring it to a simmer. Changing the water and bringing to a simmer 3 – 4 times or until the cod is to your taste.
What to Serve with Ensalada de Bacalao
Ensalada de bacalao can be enjoyed alone or served over boiled yuca. It’s also great served over salad greens, white rice, or with crispy arepas de coco (coconut fry bread). And, no meal is complete without dessert! One of my favorite Puerto Rican desserts is tembleque (coconut pudding). Need more Puerto Rican recipes? Check out my full collection of Puerto Rican recipes!
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- 1 lb of salted cod
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large tomato, diced
- ½ large avocado or a whole small avocado, diced
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
- 12 green olives (optional)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Soak salted cod in cool water for 15 - 30 minutes. Drain and transfer cod to a pot. Cover with water and bring to a simmer on the stove top. Change water and bring to a simmer 3 - 4 more times or until cod reaches desired saltiness. Drain, using a fork break up the cod and set aside.
- Saute onion in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft and translucent.
- In a large bowl combine cod with onions and remaining ingredients. Toss until well combined. If the salad is too dry to your liking add more olive oil.
- Serve with rice or boiled yucca root drizzled with olive oil.