In Italy and Croatia it is custom to prepare salted cod (baccala) salad, stew or spread for Christmas Eve. One very popular dish is pate made from cod, potatoes, garlic, parsley and olive oil. A couple of times, out of pure laziness and lack of tools I made pate chunkier. And I liked it. Then I made it even chunkier, and liked it even better. Next time the pieces grew a bit more. And they kept growing... And that is how the Chunky Baccala Salad was born. —QueenSashy
Soak the cod for about 12 hours, changing water regularly. (Actually, the soaking time will depend on the cod you are using. I find that salted cod sold in the US, does not require more than 12 hours of soaking, however, the cod in Italy, Spain and Dalmatia can sometimes take up to two days.)
Peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into halves or fourths to make sure they will cook evenly. Place the potatoes in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Bring potatoes to a boil on medium-high heat. After about ten minutes, check the potatoes – you want them to be slightly on the soft side, but not mushy. If not ready, boil a couple of minutes longer and keep on checking. Strain and let the potatoes cool.
Fill up a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat until water gently bubbles, add cod and cook until the fish breaks off easily. Strain and let it cool.
Cut the potato halves into pieces of different sizes, ranging from ¼ of an inch to one inch. With your fingers, separate the cod into pieces of different sizes, ranging from ¼ of an inch to one inch.
In a large bowl mix the cod, potatoes, parsley, garlic, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and let the salad rest at least half an hour for flavors to combine. (I like it even better after a day.) Taste before serving, if needed adjust the seasoning and acidity and enjoy with crusty bread.
Aleksandra aka QueenSashy is a scientist by day, and cook, photographer and doodler by night. When she is not writing code and formulas, she blogs about food, life and everything in between on her blog, Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was nominated for 2015 James Beard Awards and the finalist for 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.