BACCALA INSALATA (Salt Codfish Salad)
Yield: Serves 6 or more.Flecked with red and green, and topped with lemon slices, this makes an attractive main-dish salad as well as a tasty one.
Ingredients:1-1/2 to 2 pounds dried salt cod
Fresh lemon juice
Finely minced or crushed garlic
Chopped fresh parsley
Hot red pepper flakes
Lettuce leaves and lemon slices, for garnish
Instructions:Soak dried salt cod in a large pan of cold water for 1 to 3 days, until tender. Change the water every day (sometimes salt. cod is available presoaked or partially soaked; if so, it needs less soaking time).
When cod is moist and tender, drain well and place in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer just until fish flakes with a fork. Do not overcook (10 minutes is usually enough). Drain fish well and cool.
Separate cod into large flakes, working gently with your fingers. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the dressing as you would to a salad, adding ingredients to suit your preference. First, pour on enough olive oil to coat the fish generously. Then add fresh lemon juice and garlic to taste, and sprinkle on plenty of parsley and red pepper, tossing gently. The cod should be flecked with lots of red and green. Put in a serving dish and garnish with lettuce leaves and lemon slices.