I've been really pushing myself this holiday season to create low FODMAP versions of classic Italian holiday dishes and this low FODMAP baccala recipe is absolutely no exception. I have never made salt cod before, so when I partnered with Gourmend Foods on a holiday recipe collection this year, I knew I had to venture outside my comfort zone and try something new. I have to say, I was a little intimidated at first, but I'm never one to back down from a challenge, so I took to making this low FODMAP salt cod with gusto!
This low FODMAP baccala recipe is one that I highly recommend reading over a time or two before you get started. I promise it is SIMPLE, but the preparation of the fish can feel intimidating so you'll want to make sure you understand it well before you begin. I went down the rabbit hole in terms of research for this one and found that the method I used was not only the simplest, but the most common. You can find baccala at your local grocer at the fish counter and it will be labeled baccala or salt cod. You can use fresh cod for this recipe if you're not able to find baccala or don't want to bother with the preparation; simply skip the first 3 steps and begin with step 4. If you do choose to use fresh cod, ensure you're tasting as you cook, you may want to add a teaspoon or two of salt to the dish depending on your preferences. I've left it out of this recipe because the baccala offers plenty of saltiness on its own.
I also used whole, canned San Marzano tomatoes in my preparation in order to create a sauce, but you can also use canned San Marzano tomato sauce instead if you have that on hand at home. The nice thing about this low FODMAP salt cod recipe is that it is really super flexible and allows you to get your creative juices flowing a bit. While I highly recommend not skipping ingredients like the red pepper flakes, garlic scapes, and garlic chives - they add major depth of flavor and help balance out the saltiness of the capers, olives, and cod - you can omit the capers and olives if you're not a fan. I'm a huge lover of both, so it was only natural they made their way into my low FODMAP baccala recipe!
Speaking of garlic scape and garlic chive powder, these two spices from Gourmend Foods are an absolute must have for any low FODMAP household. Same goes for their garlic + onion free low FODMAP chicken broth, made from simmering real organic chicken bones along with veggies like carrots + celery to make a super rich and flavorful broth for those who are sensitive to garlic + onion.
What you need to make low FODMAP Baccala:
- Large mixing bowl
- Dutch oven
- Slotted spoon or fish spatula
- Gourmend Foods Chicken Broth: Made with simple ingredients like water, organic chicken bones, green tops of garlics + leeks, carrots, parsley, and chives, this chicken broth is gentle on the gut and perfect for low FODMAP cooking. Non-GMO, Gluten Free and certified low FODMAP by Monash University.
- Gourmend Foods Garlic Scape Powder: Adds a subtle garlicy flavor to any dish without the hassle of adding infused olive oils when you'd like garlic flavor in your dish. Non-GMO, Gluten Free and certified low FODMAP by Monash University.
- Gourmend Foods Garlic Chive Powder: By far the best way I've found to incorporate onion flavor into low FODMAP cooking! Non-GMO, Gluten Free and certified low FODMAP by Monash University.
2lbs skinless boneless salt cod (baccala)*
2 tbsp capers
6 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp gourmend foods garlic scapes
1/4 cup gourmend foods chicken broth
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 28oz can San Marzano whole tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, whole
1 cup grape tomatoes, whole skin on
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
*Look for this at your grocer's fish counter.
Prepare the baccala: In a large mixing bowl, combine cod and enough water to fully cover the cod by 2 inches. About 3-4 cups of water depending on the size of your bowl.
Cover bowl + refrigerate, being sure to change the water 3 times a day. Cod must soak at least 24 hours. You can soak the cod up to three days depending on the level of saltiness you prefer.
To test the cod's saltiness, simply break of a small piece after 24 hours of soaking and taste. You want it to taste salty but not overwhelming. If the saltiness is overwhelming, repeat the first two steps again and check after 24 hours.
Once the baccala has reached the level of saltiness you prefer, it's time to cook. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add 3 tbsp of olive oil. You want the olive oil to simmer, not smoke.
Add in red pepper flakes, chicken broth, whole San Marzano tomatoes, garlic scapes, garlic chives, capers, and olives.
Allow to simmer 2-3 minutes, then using a wooden spoon begin to crush whole tomatoes until a sauce begins to form. Simmer another 2-3 minutes.
Next, add in grape tomatoes, this time leaving them whole with skins on, continuing to simmer.
Add cod to the dutch oven, spooning sauce over the fish. Add chopped fresh parsley and basil atop cod, simmering uncovered about 5 minutes or until fish is tender.
Using a slotted spoon or fish spatula, remove cod from the Dutch oven and transfer to a serving platter.
Add last 3 tbsp of olive oil to the sauce and stir to fully incorporate. Spoon sauce over baccala and serve immediately.
Garnish with additional basil, parsley, and olives if desired.