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A Christmas Eve Specialty – Baccala Salad

Italian Seafood


  • 2 Lbs Salted Cod
  • 2 Cups Jarred Sweet Peppers – roughly chopped
  • 1 Cup Kalamata Olives – pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 Cup Parsley – roughly chopped
  • 2 Celery Ribs – thinly sliced
  • ¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 Tbs Capers – rinsed and roughly chopped
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes – or to taste
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • Kosher Salt – to taste
  • 1 Medium Head Escarole – cored and leaves separated


  1. Place cod in a 2-quart saucepan and cover with cold water by 2-inches and boil for about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain and return to the saucepan repeating this process twice.
  3. Drain and cut into 1-inch chunks and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Toss with the peppers, olives, parsley, oil, capers, black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, celery and lemon juice and stir.
  5. Taste for salt and stir again.
  6. Cover and chill for about 2 hours.
  7. Arrange escarole leaves on a serving plate and top with the cold cod salad. Alternately, buy frozen baccala fillets and eliminate all the soaking. Just rinse once and proceed

Note: Traditionally, the baccala or salt cod was prepared from dried salt cod. It would be sold in large dried flats that had to be submerged in water for days, changing the water several times a day. Then, the still smelly fish, had to be cleaned and the bones removed. Before the task was turned over to my Dad, this was the job of my Little Nonna, who soaked the fish in the cellar laundry tub. She would go down faithfully to change the water, but the odor still permeated throughout the house.

Buon Mangiata!

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