Salt cod & chickpea salad

Salt cod & chickpea salad

Salada de bacalhau a grao-de-bico

By
From
Lisbon
Serves
2 as a main course, or 4 as a starter or as part of a spread of petiscos
Photographer
Steven Joyce

This punchy, traditional salad is very filling and extremely tasty, and works just as well in summer as in winter. (It’s a handy way to use up any leftover desalinated salt cod, too.) For vegetarians, you can omit the salt cod and – if you like – grate the eggs, giving the final dish a similar look to the original.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g salt cod
2 eggs
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
sweet paprika, to serve

Dressing

Quantity Ingredient
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
pinch salt

Method

  1. Twenty-four hours before you want to start cooking, begin to desalinate the salt cod: rinse it under fresh running water to remove any salt crystals on its exterior, then place in a large bowl of cold water, cover and leave in the fridge. Change the water every few hours. It should be ready after about 24 hours – some cod is ready in just 8–12 hours, depending on its cure. To check whether it is ready, place a piece in a pan and cook it with a little water for a minute or two, then taste. It may be slightly salty, but shouldn’t be overwhelming.
  2. When ready to make the salad, place the cod in a pan of water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and leave it to cool slightly. Once it’s cool enough to handle, remove the skin and any bones and fins, discard them, then flake the flesh.
  3. While the cod is cooking, cook the eggs. Place them in a pan of cold water and bring to a simmer, then cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool under cold running water, then peel and slice each egg into 6 wedges.
  4. Place the flaked cod, red onion and chickpeas in a serving bowl. Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste to check the seasoning – it should be really sharp, salty and garlicky.
  5. Use half the dressing to dress the cod, chickpeas and onion, then arrange the eggs on top and drizzle over a little more of the dressing. Sprinkle with a pinch of paprika before serving.
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