CASSERUOLA DI BACCALA
(Salt Cod Casserole)
1 Lb. Baccala - salted cod fish 4 Heads Garlic 4 Lg. Potatoes - new 1/2 Cup Sicilian olives 1/2 Cup Black dried olives 1/4 Cup Pine nuts 2 Tsp. Oregano flakes - dry 1 Cup Olive oil - Extra virgin 1 Med. Lime
PREPARING THE BACCALA (SALT COD)
The cod may be store bought, but this dish will be more subtle if the cod is freshly salted at home. A recipe for salting cod at home is provided in the Baccala Salad recipe on this site.
Soak the cod for three days in water. Change the water at least two times each day. Leave the cod in the refrigerator as it is soaking. Some cod is pre-soaked and need to be soaked for only a day to remove excess salt. Ask your fishmonger to be sure.
PREPARING THE POTATOES AND GARLIC & OLIVES
Pit the olives. Chop them into quarters. Set aside.
Boil the potatoes until they are still quite firm. (Alternatively, the potatoes can be cooked in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. We do not recommend this). Cool and peel the potatoes. Slice 1/2 inch thick and place in an oven proof pan. Drizzle with olive oil, add salt to taste and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In the same oven, bake the heads of garlic. The garlic can be baked in the oven at the same time as the potatoes. Cut the tops from the garlic cloves. Place them in a small ovenproof dish, sprinkle with olive oil and salt lightly. They should be ready 20-25 minutes after the potatoes. When finished, let the heads cool. Remove the pulp from the skins. This is easiest done by using the back of a large knife, and pressing the head from root end to the cut tops. The garlic heads will have a butter like consistency and will be pressed from their skins by this process. Discard the skins.
While the potatoes and garlic are cooking gently boil the cod in water for 3-5 minutes. Let cool, remove skin, if any, debone, and flake. Set aside.
ASSEMBLING THE CASSEROLE
Lightly oil an oven proof casserole. Add the potatoes, garlic, cod and olives to a stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Mix gently, but thoroughly. Add the rest of the olive oil and the juice of one lime. Grind a generous amount of fresh pepper into the mixture and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the casserole and spread gently with a spoon. Add a few olives to the top and a bit more pepper. If desired, hot pepper flakes can also be added at this time. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 °. Bake an additional 10 minutes at 450 to crisp the top of the casserole. Serve immediately.
Last updated on: 06/03/99 12:51:36 AM