Warm Cured-Cod Salad with Orange and Basil

Adolfo Muñoz uses salt cod in this salad for its wonderfully briny flavor. Since high-quality salt cod is hard to find in the United States, the F&W Test Kitchen discovered that the best way to replicate it is to cure fresh cod in sea salt, then rinse it and poach it in olive oil.

Warm Cured-Cod Salad with Orange and Basil
Photo: © Akiko & Pierre
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 10 mins


  • 1 pound center-cut skinless cod fillet

  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

  • 4 medium navel oranges

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 ounces mesclun (4 cups)

  • ½ cup small basil leaves

  • 1 small sweet onion (thinly sliced)

  • ½ small red bell pepper (minced)

  • ½ small green bell pepper (minced)


  1. Put the cod in a shallow baking dish and pat the sea salt all over it. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, peel the oranges with a sharp knife, removing all the bitter white pith. Working over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the orange sections into the bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl.

  3. Transfer 1/4 cup of juice to a bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Drain the orange sections; discard any remaining juice.

  4. Rinse the cod thoroughly under cold water and pat dry. In a skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Add the cod and cook over moderately low heat, turning once and shaking the pan to prevent sticking, until the cod is just cooked through and starts to separate into large flakes, 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  5. In a large bowl, combine the mesclun and basil leaves and toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Transfer to plates and top with the orange sections and cod, separating the flakes slightly. Scatter the onion and red and green bell peppers over the salads, drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve.

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