Salt cod with oranges and olives

(By P. Pasquino - Professor and Directeur de recherche at the CNRS)

Baccalà, salt cod, is still a part of the traditional Christmas Eve meal in Sicily. This is a recipe from Trapani, adapted from La Cucina Siciliana di Gangivecchio by Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene. They have substituted the original juice of sour oranges with a mix of sweet orange and lemon juice.

Ingredients (prepare for 4)

  • 2 lb salt cod fillet, soaked in several changes of water for 24-48 hours
  • flour
  • olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 12 green olives, pitted and chopped
  • peperoncino or black pepper (optional)
  • orange slice, to garnish

Baccalà (Salt Cod)


  1. Cut the fish into chuncks and coat with flour. Sauté in olive oil over a medium-high heat. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. In another pan, heat a little olive oil and fry the onion until it wilts, then add the orange and lemon juices and the olives. Check the seasoning (you may not need any salt) and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the fish, simmer for a further 5 minutes, then serve decorated with orange slices

- Cucina Siciliana by Clarissa Hyman -

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