Yesterday was a welcome sunny day. And not too cold. As usual, the Kilometer Zero market was here and instead of huddling under their tents to keep dry, they were sunny and happy like the weather. We ran a bunch of local errands and did some shopping. The nice man I visit normally had what looked like spring onions. I asked him what they were called and he said aglio fresco, or fresh garlic. It was young garlic before it grows into bulbs. He proceeded to tell us all about ways to use it. In a frittata or in a pasta. So I bought some.

I didn’t intend to use it in a frittata or in pasta. I thought it would be perfect in the dinner I had planned for last evening.

I had planned a dish using baccalà. It is the salt cod which you find throughout the world. It was first produced by the Vikings and allowed them to explore widely. They brought it to the Basques who were also renown seafarers and fishermen. Portugal calls it bacalhau. It eventually went to the New World where it became a huge industry in New England.

It is super popular here in Italy. It is found everywhere and is relatively inexpensive. The fish is dried until it is hard as a rock. It is one of Luther’s favorite things. I bought the cod from our fish truck which comes twice a week. It was already soaked and ready to use. I bought it dried once before and soaked it myself. Takes about three days and you change the water out at least twice a day. Much easier already soaked!

The dish is salt cod baked with cauliflower. It sounded interesting and cauliflower is plentiful now. The cod is cooked in cream with garlic and scallions until it can be flaked. In this case I used the young garlic greens. The garlic and scallions are mashed in the cream after it is cooked until thick. Then the cream and cod is mixed with cauliflower, pine nuts, currants and lemon zest and baked.

Here is the finished dish. It was yummy, but I’m not sure I’d make it again.

Italian sentence for today, “Forse andrò a fare una passeggiata” in English, “Perhaps I will go for a walk”. Pronounced for-say ahn-droh ah far-ay une-a pass-ahj-gee-ah-ta.
Stay safe everyone! Buona domenica!

4 thoughts on “Baccalà

  1. Nancy Hampton Post author

    My husband would be happy to eat it again. I’m just not a big fan of Baccala I guess. It really wasn’t a lot of work if you get the fish already prepped. I roasted the cauliflower ahead of time. The young garlic were the best and I bought more yesterday!

  2. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Matt,
    I did some research before I wrote this. Not as in-depth ad the book probably is! And I learned quite a lot. The industry and method did indeed change the world!

  3. Matthew Daub

    Thanks again for your posts, Nancy. There’s a really interesting book called “Cod” that looks at the history of cod fishing and how it changed the world. Sounds dry, but it’s very entertaining.

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