Dalmatian Bakalar, dried salted Cod, is a traditional Christmas Eve meal shared by those in my family, and for many from the Dalmatian Coast and islands of Croatia. This recipe is a Christmas Eve staple, and a gastronomic symbol of tradition, family ties and connection to the sea. It is also humbly yet heartily prepared for Easter.
Bakalar na bijelo, white bakalar, is known for its simplicity yet heartiness, bringing comfort to those who welcome it into their homes. The transformative power of a few humble ingredients into a true delicacy is really brought to life with this dish. Of course, no ‘good’ thing happens overnight and so some preparation is needed before it is cooked.
- 4kg bakalar (salted cod)
- 6 large potatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- Bunch of parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Place Bakalar in a bucket and soak overnight in lukewarm water.
- Change the water 2-3 times.
Boil Bakalar in water under tender.
In a separate pot, peel and clean 6 large potatoes, cut into halves or quarters and boil until soft.
Finely chop 2 garlic cloves and bunch of parsley.
Once the Bakalar has cooled down, remove the skin and bones.
Break the Bakalar into small pieces.
Add potatoes, garlic, parsley, black parsley and extra virgin olive oil.
Salt is not needed, yet if desired can add according to your taste.
Dalmatian Bakalar most definitely has an intensity in taste, and with that comes a smell that may linger on for days. But on the flip side, one may always see this as testament to the enduring, lasting beauty of such traditions and customs.
May you take comfort in this hundreds of years old Dalmatian Bakalar recipe, as you too welcome it into your homes, wherever you may be.
In the meantime, to further flex your creative ‘muscle’ in the kitchen go to my traditional Mussels Buzara Recipe HERE.