Marc Forgione's Salt Cod "Tonnato" with Crudité

By Food52
October 24, 2017
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Author Notes: This recipe, from chef Marc Forgione, is a twist on a classic Italian dip, tonnato—traditionally made with tuna, here made with salt cod, also known as bacalao. This dip is a great way to highlight the best vegetables that the farmers' market has to offer, whatever the season. In the spring, serve with asparagus and snap peas; in the summer, green beans and gem lettuces; in the fall, spicy radishes and carrots; in winter, bitter greens like radicchio and cauliflower are delicious. And don't forget crackers or toasted crusty bread for a little crunch. Food52

Makes: about 1 cup dip

For the salt cod:

  • 2 pounds salt cod
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Peel from 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 3 pieces
  1. Place the cod in a large container and completely cover with cold water. Soak for 3 days, changing the water three times a day.
  2. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  3. Make a sachet with the bay leaf, thyme, tarragon, and lemon peel.
  4. Remove skin and bones from the fish. Place the cleaned rehydrated cod in a non-reactive pot with the sachet, the onion, and the celery. Pour in olive oil until it covers the cod. Bring oil up to 120°F and then place in the oven for 45 minutes. Strain, discard everything except the fish.

For the tonnato sauce:

  • 1/2 cup prepared salt cod
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
  • Black pepper
  1. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
  2. Place cod, garlic, capers, mayonnaise, and lemon juice in a blender. Puree everything until smooth, then pour into a bowl over the ice bath to cool it down. Whisk until cold, then whisk in the sherry vinegar and the Tabasco.
  3. Transfer to a small chilled bowl. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and a fresh crack of black pepper.

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