Esgarraet or esgarrat is a red bell pepper salad with salted fish. A traditional recipe from Valencia, an autonomous community in the east coast of Spain. The main ingredients of this salad are grilled red bell peppers, salted cod, garlic and olive oil. Sometimes you may find black olives or pine nuts among the ingredients or just as a garnish.
It is a very simple recipe indeed and curiously both the roasted red bell pepper and the salted cod are shredded by hand, hence the name of the recipe, esgarraet, meaning to torn or shredded in the Valencian language.
Some recipes include roasted eggplant as well, while others mix cod with slices of salted loin of tuna, commonly known as mojama or tonyina, a kind of tuna jerky. We have used only the basic ingredients in order to keep it as simple as possible.
Also, we recommend to make this recipe in advance so that all the flavors of the ingredients meld perfectly. Have you ever heard that the Mediterranean diet is one of the best? If so, rest assured that this recipe truly follows the precepts of that famous diet and should not be missed.
- 1 lb 10 oz (730g) red bell peppers
- 5 oz (150g) salted cod
- 1 teaspoon (4g) garlic, minced
- Salt to taste
- Few drops of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- Black olives, hard-boiled eggs or pine nuts (optional)
- Shred the fish taking care to get rid of any piece of bone or skin.
- Mix it with the olive oil and minced garlic in a bowl. Cover with plastic film and set aside.
- Place the red bell peppers on a baking tray and drizzle with some olive oil.
- Broil at the highest temperature of your oven from 20 to 30 minutes or until the peppers are tender enough and the skin has charred. Do not forget to turn them around when half baked to roast the other side.
- Take the tray out of the oven and transfer the peppers to a plastic bag while they are still hot, close the bag and let them rest for a while.
- When the peppers become lukewarm take the stems, piths and seeds out, peel and shred them into strips.
- Mix carefully with the cod in the olive oil, cover with plastic film and let macerate for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
Tips for a perfect roasted red pepper salad with cod tapa:
- If you have the chance to roast the peppers with charcoal or in a wood oven, do not even hesitate and do it. You will add a supreme and unique flavor to this Mediterranean salad.
- Putting the roasted peppers in a bag will help remove the skin easily.
- The best cod for this recipe is the English cod type: a cod partially desalted, deboned and crumbled.
- If you do not find that kind of cod you can use whatever you find the available, however, do not forget to desalt it partially.
- We love roasted garlic which imparts a delicious flavor to peppers and oil, give it a try instead of using raw garlic.
- If you are not fond of finding bits of garlic in your salad try to mash it in a mortar along with a dash of salt and a few drops of olive oil.
- You can use canned roasted red bell peppers strips, just take into count the taste will never be the same. Use about 12 oz (340g)
- Feel like more cod recipes? Check out the cod brandade recipe and our potato and cod mash from La Mancha.
Season this roasted pepper salad and salted cod with a few drops of lemon juice. Garnish either with black olives and pine nuts or hard-boiled eggs to round it up. Do not forget to serve some glasses of white wine, and an assortment of crackers or bread toasts… Enjoy it!