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Xatonada Salad
Spain - Catalunya
  -   Xatonada
6 salad  
3 days  
An unusual salad with an intensely flavorful dressing (Xató). This salad is traditional in Catalonya, the northeast corner of Spain. Recipes vary some, but the green used must be Escarole, regular lettuce doesn't have the bitterness needed. The amount of fish can vary a little but there shouldn't be too much. "You have forced me to like salad" - actual quote from a committed carnivore.




Salt Cod (1)
-- Dressing
Dried Chili (2)
Hazelnuts (3)
Olive Oil ExtV
Wine Vinegar (4)
-- Salad
Tuna, light (5)
Anchovy fillet (6)
Olives, black (7)
Radishes, red
Prep   -   (2-1/2 days)
  1. Soak SALT COD in cold water in the refrigerator for 2 days or a little more, changing the water twice a day.
Run   -   (20 min)
  1. Core and seed the CHILI (see Note-2). Break it up and run to powder in your spice grinder.
  2. If raw, toast HAZLENUTS until very lightly browned (see Note-4). Include some extras so you can sample for the roasted flavor. Cool and crush.
  3. In a mortar, or preferably in a mini-prep food processor, mash together all Dressing Items, starting with the solids and finishing with the liquids. Add just a touch of water if the dressing seems too thick, but it should be quite thick, not runny.
  4. Shred ESCAROLE rather small. Drain COD and shred very small. Drain TUNA and break up quite small. Break up ANCHOVIES. Pit OLIVES. Slice RADISHES thin. Toss all together well.
  5. Serve cold with Dressing drizzled over (see Note-8)
  1. Salt Cod:   This can usually be found easily in Italian groceries and delicatessens. I have also found it in a Korean market here in Los Angeles, but theirs was rather bony and skin-on. If you can't get salt cod, increase the amount of tuna and anchovies to compensate. For details, see our Salt Cod page.
  2. Chili:   I suggest using a large California Chili. In Spain dried Nora chilis would be used, but these are prohibitively expensive in North America. Because Noras have no heat, a small hot chili would be included. use your own best judgement as to whether a small hot chili should be added along with a California Chili, but the dressing should have some bite. Of course you could also use a chili powder of your choice. Traditionally the chilis are soaked and the flesh scraped off with the skins discarded, but with a whirling blade spice grinder this is not necessary.
  3. Hazelnuts:   These are best if freshly shelled and roasted in a dry pan or in a 350°F/175°C oven for about 5 minutes (easier, but dangerous, because you'll probably forget about them). If you are in a hurry you can use pre-roasted hazelnuts. Some recipes specify almonds.
  4. Wine Vinegar   Recipes vary in asking for red or white, so either can be used - but quality matters. I usually use an imported Italian wine vinegar, but California wine vinegars can also be very good (though harder to find).
  5. Tuna:   This is about what you will get from a 5 ounce can of water packed Chunk Light Tuna, if it's one of the better brands.
  6. Anchovies:   Avoid Moroccan anchovies which tend to be lower quality in flavor and consistency (sometimes as bad as mush full of scales and bones). Those from Italy, Spain, Chile and Peru are usually fine. For details see our European Anchovies page.
  7. Olives:   These should salt/oil cured Mediterranean olives, not canned California salad olives. Those from Turkey are generally very good and easily available.
  8. Serving:   For buffet service make half again as much dressing and serve it in a bowl with a very small ladel - not in a pourable container or some yo yo will pour it all on his portion.
  9. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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