Ensalada de Bacalao
Bright and tangy, this classic salted cod ensalada is the perfect healthy side or main dish.
by Chef Yadira Garcia | @happyhealthylatina
Ensalada de bacalao is a beloved dish in my home and in the homes of so many familias. If you're not familiar with this dish, you're in for a mouthwatering sopresa! This classic dish features bacalao or salted cod (also used to make bacalaítos) marinated in a tangy dressing with root veggies like carrots and potatoes.
While ensalada de bacalao appears typically during Lent, when meat isn't eaten on Fridays, it's earned its rightful place on holiday tables as a side dish. But, I promise you, it can also be the star of any show! I like to add chayote or tayota squash to my ensalada de bacalao – one of my favorite island ingredients.
What I love about this dish is that outside of the time it takes to soak your bacalao, it's so simple to put together and it delivers a big impact with a punchy vinaigrette and the beautiful, bright colors of all the ingredients coming together. I always like to make a little extra to ensure I have some leftovers for a healthy lunch or dinner the next day!
Ensalada de Bacalo
12oz pack of salted bacalao
4 medium potatoes
2 medium carrots
2 chayote squash
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 orange bell pepper, julienned
2 yellow onions, julienned
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
Leaves from 5-6 sprigs of thyme
1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Loisa Adobo
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
For the Dressing
In a large bowl, add your salted cod and cover with enough cool water to submerge the fish. Soak for 8-10 hours or overnight to remove the salt. (Optional: change out the water with fresh water halfway through soaking for better results.)
Add potatoes, carrots, and chayote squash to a stock pot and cover with water. Boil for 25 - 30 minutes or until fork tender. Discard water and cool. Then, dice all the boiled vegetables to about ½ inch cubes.
In another pot, prepare the cod. Strain the soaked cod, then add to the pot and cover with fresh water. Boil for 10-15 minutes. Then, strain and break apart into small pieces with your hands, removing any bones if present.
While your veggies and cod are boiling, prepare the dressing. In a large bowl, mix olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Loisa Adobo, and black pepper. Salt to taste.
Add all peppers and onion to the dressing, mix and marinate for at least 10 - 15 minutes.
Add your diced carrot, chayote squash, and potatoes to the bowl and combine thoroughly. Then, add flaked bacalao and combine again.
To garnish, add your sliced boiled eggs and thyme leaves over the mixed salad.