Bacalao Esqueixada

Salad of Shredded Salt Cod with Olives, Parsley, Tomato and Citrus

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Media Ración


Appears in


By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2007

  • About

So common is this dish in Spain, that there are thousands of variations across the country. We based this version on a bacalao esqueixada that we ate in a restaurant on the Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona’s business district — we had deliberately wandered away from the tourist dominated old part of town to dine among the working Barcelonans. It was part of a menú de dia, which started with cod salad. It is light and sharp, made with finely sliced capsicum, sharp little capers and fruity arbequina olives. For the record we continued our Barcelona lunch with some quail, slow cooked in wine, and finished with a little ripe melon for dessert.


  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) piece of salt cod, 2–3 cm (¾–1¼ inch) thick, desalinated
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 red capsicum (pepper), seeded, membrane removed and diced
  • ½ green capsicum (pepper), seeded, membrane removed and diced
  • 70 g ( oz) fruity olives, pitted (see Note)
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 small handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) extra virgin olive oil


Remove the skin and all the bones from the cod and break the flesh apart into even shreds.

Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Mix with your hands or a spoon, gently tossing the fish and vegetables through the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve chilled.