This past week Baccala has been on my mind, I don’t know if it’s because it is summer and people are starting to fish around here or because I know that Dad will be telling me that he’s craving for some Baccala.
Baccala is one of my most favorite things to eat, and for those of you who don’t know what it is, Baccala is Cod that has been preserved in salt, a method used for centuries. Most countries have their own Baccala recipes.
While in Rome I made frequent visits to Filetti di Baccalà located down the street from Campo de’ Fiori in a little piazza and in front of the beautiful Santa Barbara church and, with weather permitting, you can sit outside in their cafe. I only had the deep fried Baccala there because I was on a strict budget, but I did see platters of anchovies and green salads and cured meats as they passed my way. But this restaurant is mostly famous throughout Rome for its fried Baccala that is served with a pile of thin newspaper in which to eat it. The paper is void of print which works to everyone’s advantage, after all, who wants to read about bad news when eating something so delicious? –And let’s face it, for those of you who know me, you know I prefer to use my hands when I eat rather than a fork and knife; I’m piggish that way.
This is how we do it:
First soak the Baccala for a few days in cold water and change the water often because it can be quite salty. Boil water, and reduce heat to medium, and add the Baccala’ and simmer until it can be flaked apart, be careful not to overcook it.
When completely chilled place the fish in a bowl, (don’t break it up too much) add tons of green olive oil, dried cured olives, vinegar peppers with some of the vinegar, plenty of chopped garlic, capers, chopped parsley and toss gently.