Serenata con Viandas (Codfish Salad with Root Vegetable)
A Puerto Rican dish made with rehydrated salted cod, tubers, and crisp veggies. Begin 2 hours ahead.
- 1 pound salted codfish
- 1 medium yuca root, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 2 small white or red yautia/malanga, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 1 small batata (white sweet potato), peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 3 guineos verdes (green bananas NOT plantain), peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 3 small yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 2 cups thinly shredded red or green cabbage
- 1 cup thinly slice white or yellow onions
- 1/2 dry pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half OR 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced into half moons.
- 1/2-1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 hard boiled eggs, cut into quarters optional
- 2 large ripe avocados, cubed optional
Soak the Codfish
Rinse the codfish under cold, running water to remove excess salt. Place the fish in a large, non-reactive bowl (ceramic, plastic, or glass) and cover it with at least six inches of cold water.
Long Soaking Method: allow the cod to soak for 4 hours, remembering to change out the water halfway through the soak time. Short Soaking Method: cover the codfish with cold water and allow it to soak for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes of soaking, pour off salty water and break up the softened codfish. You can also boil it as is, like we're going to do with this recipe. (see note for very hard pieces of codfish)
Boil the Codfish and Tubers
Transfer the yuca, yautía, batata, potatoes, and the guineos verdes, as well as, the rehydrated, salt-less (not salt free) codfish into a large stock pot. Fill the pot with enough cold water to allow the veggies to float around. Bring the water up to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water begins to boil, reduce the meat to medium and allow the water to simmer, covered, until the tubers are fork tender- about 20 minutes. Once your veggies are tender, drain the codfish and tubers in a colander. Transfer the serenata base to a large mixing bowl. Allow it to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Toss the Serenata and Dress with Olive Oil
Add the cabbage, onions, and tomatoes to the bowl with the codfish and tubers. Toss everything together with a pair of wooden salad spoons.
Pour a generous amount of high-quality olive oil over the serenata and toss once more.
To finish the serenata, arrange the salad on a large platter. Store the salad, covered in plastic wrap, in the fridge until chilled- about 45 minutes. Serenata is best enjoyed cold, but is ready to eat now. Just prior to serving, arrange the boiled egg wedges and avocado chunks around your plated serenata.
Enjoy your serenata with a side of steamed white rice or a thick slice of bread. Leftovers will keep for the next day's enjoyment, but no longer than 2 days. After that time, the avocado will turn brown and slimy.
- if you can't locate all of the root vegetables called for in the recipe, use what you can find in you grocery store to substitute them.
- If your codfish has been preserved with a lot of salt and is rock hard, your soaking time should be doubled.
Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 157mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 1761mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 3772IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 5mg