Recipe of the Day: Esqueixada
Perhaps one of the better known Catalan dishes — thanks to its appearance on fusion menus in the U.S. and word-of-mouth, esqueixada is an incredibly simple to prepare dish with very a very interesting flavor/texture play going for it. Made with just salt cod and a few other easy-to-find ingredients, esqueixada is something the American homecook can easily pull off — even on a weeknight. However, you must think ahead, as you’ll need to soak the cod in water at least 6 hours in advance (or use fresh cod). This dish is traditionally served as an appetizer, but could work as a very light dinner if served with some nice crusty bread. No cooking required!
There are as many (albeit similar) ways to prepare esqueixada (some people leave out the vinegar, add tuna, chop the olives, only use one kind of pepper, etc.) This is just one way…play around with the recipe and see what you like best.
1 pound salt cod(previously soaked in water at least 6 hours, rinsed, then patted dry)
1 small green pepper
1 small red pepper
4 firm yet ripe tomatoes
About 15 black olives (good quality ones!)
1 cloves garlic
Red wine vinegar (or Jerez vinegar)
Cooking Time 30 min.
Shred the cod into pieces with your fingers and place it in a serving dish. Finely chop onion and bell peppers. Cut the tomatoes in half, then, with a cheese grater, grate the tomato pulp (note: some prefer the tomatoes chopped rather than grated…if that’s your thing, go for it). Mince the garlic. Throw all of the previously prepared ingredients onto the plate of fish and toss. Top with the olives, then dress with olive oil, vinegar (some people omit it) and salt and pepper to taste. Toss once more and you’re done.
Serve with any Catalan white or a Raimat Gran Brut, cava DO Catalunya
Photo by EatCatalunya Flickr Group member buxeda