Savor the flavor of tradition with this authentic baccalà, or salted codfish, infused with flavor from garlic scapes, garlic chives, capers and olives.
You can find baccala at your local grocer at the fish counter and it will be labeled baccala or salt cod. You can use fresh cod for this recipe if you're not able to find baccala or don't want to bother with the preparation; simply skip the first 3 steps and begin with step 4. If you choose to use fresh cod, ensure you're tasting as you cook—you may want to add a teaspoon or two of salt to the dish depending on your preferences.
skinless boneless salt cod (baccala),* 2 pounds
olive oil, 6 tablespoons
red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons
gourmend chicken broth, ¼ cup
san marzano whole canned tomatoes, 28 oz can with juices
gourmend garlic chive powder, 1 teaspoon
gourmend garlic scape powder, ½ teaspoon
capers, 2 tablespoons
pitted kalamata olives, ½ cup whole
grape tomatoes, 1 cup whole, skin on
fresh parsley, ¼ cup chopped
fresh basil, 1 bunch chopped
Prepare the baccala: In a large mixing bowl, combine the salt cod and enough water to fully cover the cod by 2 inches. Use around 3 to 4 cups of water, depending on the size of your bowl.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate the cod, making sure to change the water 3 times per day. The cod must soak for at least 24 hours. You can soak the cod for up to three days, depending on the level of saltiness you prefer.
To test the cod's saltiness, simply break off a small piece after 24 hours of soaking and taste. The cod should taste salty, but not overwhelming. If the saltiness is overwhelming, repeat the first two steps again and test the cod after 24 hours. Once the baccala has reached the level of saltiness you prefer, it's time to cook.
In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. You want the olive oil to simmer, not smoke.
Add in the red pepper flakes, chicken broth, tomatoes and their juices, garlic scape powder, garlic chive powder, capers, and olives.
Allow to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, using a wooden spoon, crush the whole tomatoes until a sauce begins to form. Simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Next, add in the whole grape tomatoes, this time leaving the skins on, and continue to simmer.
Add the cod to the Dutch oven, spooning the tomato sauce over the fish. Then, add the fresh parsley and basil atop the cod, simmering uncovered for around 5 minutes or until the fish is tender.
Using a slotted spoon or fish spatula, remove the cod from the Dutch oven and transfer to a serving platter.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the tomato sauce and stir to fully incorporate. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve immediately.
Garnish with additional basil, parsley, and olives if desired.
* Not counting 24 hour rest time for salt cod.
* Look for this at your grocer's fish counter.