This salad is another contribution to this book from the great Toledo chef Adolfo Muñoz. Lyrically Mediterranean and terrifically tasty, this is Adolfo’s sophisticated take on remojón, a traditional Andalusian salad of salt cod and oranges. In the states it is nearly impossible to find the fat loin of bacalao, which tastes even better than fresh cod when reconstituted, so I suggest you cure your own fresh cod in sea salt. It’s very easy to do but does take an hour, so plan ahead.
- Yield: 8 Servings
- 1 pound center-cut skinless cod fillet
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 4 medium-size navel oranges
- 6 tablespoons fragrant extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
- 4 cups mesclun, rinsed and dried
- ½ cup small basil leaves
- ½ medium-size red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup minced red bell pepper
- ¼ cup minced green bell pepper
- Place the cod in a shallow bowl and pat salt all over it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Peel the oranges with a small, sharp knife, removing all the bitter white pith. Working over a sieve set over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the orange sections into the sieve. Set aside the orange membranes. Let the orange sections drain.
- Make the salad dressing: Squeeze the juice from the orange membranes into another bowl and add the juice that drained from the orange sections. Measure ¼ cup, and discard the rest or set aside for another use. Whisk 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into the orange juice and season the dressing generously with salt and black pepper. Taste the dressing and, if it seems too sweet, add lemon juice to taste.
- Pat the cod dry with paper towels, taking care to remove any excess salt. Heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the cod and cook, turning once and shaking the pan, until the cod is just cooked through and starts to separate into large flakes, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cod to a plate.
- Place the mesclun and basil leaves in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Divide the greens among serving plates and top with the orange sections and cod, separating the flakes slightly. Scatter the onion and red and green peppers over the salads, drizzle the remaining dressing on top, and serve.