Prep 15 hrs
Cook 24 hrs
On a whim, I bought a box of salt cod (an unusual ingredient in the UK), which hung around in my fridge for a few weeks, reproaching me. Finally I plucked up the courage to cook it, and soaked the cod for the requisite 24 hours. However, I forgot to look for suitable recipes for it, so when it was suddenly time to cook our evening meal, I trawled the contents of my kitchen, throwing things randomly into the saucepan, and concocted this dish - which was surprisingly successful, and which I will definitely be making again. It is a fresh-tasty summery stew of salt cod (also known as saltfish, bacalhau, bacalao, morue or baccalà) with tomatoes and courgettes (zucchini). Serve with mashed potatoes or polenta. Warning - make sure you soak your cod well, or this dish may turn out too salty, with no easy means of remedying the problem! Most of the preparation time is the soaking time for the cod.
- 500 g salt cod fish (the sort that is skinless and boneless, and comes in pieces sealed in a plastic box)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 400 g canned tomatoes, chopped
- 250 g cherry tomatoes, fresh, left whole
- 1 tablespoon herbes de provence (or other mixed herb of your choice)
- 250 g courgettes, chopped into chunks (zucchini)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped (preserved in vinegar)
- black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup basil leaves, chopped
- Soak the salt cod in lots of cold water for at least 24 hours, changing the water every 4-6 hours to remove the salt. Salt cod varies in its saltiness, and some may need as much as 48 hours to soak. Do not skimp on the soaking, because I don't know how to remove the salt later in the recipe!
- When you are ready to cook the stew, soften the onion and garlic in the olive oil.
- When soft, add the tinned tomatoes, fresh cherry tomatoes and herbes de provence.
- Drain the salt cod, rinsing well, and squeezing out all the water.
- Add the cod to the saucepan with the tomato mixture, and stir well.
- Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes until the fish is nearly cooked.
- Add the courgettes (zucchini), chilli flakes, fennel seeds, chopped capers and black pepper.
- Turn up the heat and boil until the courgettes (zucchini) are cooked and the liquid has mostly evaporated, leaving a stew -like consistency. This took me about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the shredded basil leaves, then serve the fish stew immediately with mashed potatoes or polenta.
Made this for dinner on Sunday night and was totally impressed at how similar the taste it to Norwegian versions which we were hooked to on our trip a couple of months ago.I omiited the wine however and thicken the sauce with tomato paste and added pre boiled potato slices -that's the way it was served in Norway and it works just fine for us spud lovers.Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.