Serves 4-6 This dish is traditionally made with salt cod (baccalà); at Enzo we use our house-made stockfish (stoccafisso). Stockfish is pretty easy to make (see method below). We use locally grown potatoes that are similar to Yukon Gold, but russets or red-skinned potatoes are good too. This salad tastes better if it’s made ahead, so feel free to make it a day or so before you intend to serve it.
1 pound salt cod (boneless and skinless) or stockfish 1 pound potatoes, peeled if desired, halved if large, cut into ½-inch slices 1 cup coarsely chopped parsley 2 shallots, sliced into thin rings 1 cup finely sliced celery 1⁄2 cup olive oil juice of 2 lemons Freshly ground black pepper and salt (if needed)
Soak salt cod in a large pot of water in refrigerator for 36–48 hours, changing water twice a day.
Drain salt cod, place in medium pot, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Cook fish for about 10-20 minutes until cooked through (fish will flake easily). Drain fish, reserving poaching water. When fish is cool enough to handle, flake fish into bite-size pieces, removing any cartilage, skin, or bones.
Cook potatoes in reserved poaching water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, discarding cooking water. Add to fish with parsley, celery and shallots. Drizzle olive oil and lemon over the salad and gently combine all ingredients. Season to taste with pepper; you shouldn’t need salt because the salt cod will add a lot of flavor, but if you think the salad needs it, go right ahead and add some.
Traditionally made, stockfish is stiff as a board and very, very dry. This version is much softer and more pliable. You can use it right away in recipes calling for baccalà or freeze it for longer storage. Either way it will still need to soak for a day or two in water (in the refrigerator) to pull off residual salt. This is much more a method than a recipe and is a great way to use up fish trimmings from another project. The process of salt curing does not cook the fish, but it does change the texture of the meat in a pleasant way, making it more chewy and meaty. Boneless fillets of fish—at the restaurant we use haddock, pollock, hake, or any other mild, white-fleshed fish Kosher salt
Cover the bottom of a rimmed sheet pan or roasting pan with a thin layer of salt (about ¼-inch thick, give or take) Lay the fish in a single layer on the salt, leaving about 1 inch of space around each piece. Cover each piece of fish with ¼-inch layer of salt. Cover and refrigerate.
After 12-48 hours, the fish will be cured; this depends on the thickness of the fish and the layer of salt. You can’t really mess it up—the longer the cure, the saltier the stockfish and the longer it will need to soak to remove the saltiness.
When you think the fish has cured enough (it will be translucent and a little firm), rinse off the salt and it’s ready to use. If freezing, dry each piece off and wrap tightly in plastic.