Delicious Greek baked cod and potatoes with caramelized onions, tomato and raisins over potatoes.
This recipe is one of my mother’s specialties and I have fond memories of eating it back in Chicago when I was a little girl. This is basically salted cod cooked in tomato, onions and raisins and accompanied by potatoes. Yes, I know-I know, it is another strange dish for a kid to like, but like I’ve said my mother only cooked Greek, and that’s what I grew up on.
The dish is known as being a Peloponnesian dish (from the area of Peloponissos in Greece) where my mom and dad are from. It is of the few Greek dishes that use fruit in a savory dish. The story goes that salted cod was first imported by the English and in exchange they were given Greek raisins.
Korinthos another area in Peloponissos, was and is known for their raisins and according to George Mazos a Corinthian black raisin producer and owner of Golden Black, Greeks were in fact supplying the English with raisins so it seems that the two ingredients were somehow combined to create this wonderful dish. Now, although fish was available on the coastal areas of Greece, for the mountainous regions even on some islands fish was not so accessible, so salted fish was common as was salted cod which also lasted for a long time.
Nutritional Value of Bakaliaro Plaki
Cod is an excellent source of protein and low in calories, with a 3 ounce serving (100 grams) providing only 87 calories and 18 grams protein. Combine that with the rest of the ingredients which are all great sources of antioxidants but also fiber, including the onions, tomatoes, garlic and raisins and really you have once again a super healthy Greek dish. The combination of the sweet raisins with the salty cod is addictive and is one of the reasons I loved this dish.
Salted cod is associated with the Greek fast. During the Greek Easter fast, there were 2 days that fish is allowed, one of these days is the 25th of March which is the Feast of the Annunciation which also happens to be Greek Independence day. So on this official holiday it is common to eat salted cod. It can either be consumed fried with skordalia (garlic dip) or roasted with onions, tomatoes and raisins (bakaliaro plaki).
This is a pretty easy dish, but you do need to desalt the cod a day earlier. Basically you cut the cod in smaller pieces (about 3 inches) soak the cod in cold water for 24 hours, keeping it covered and in the refrigerator and changing the water 3-4 times. In Greece this cod is found everywhere, outside of Greece you can find in Greek or Italian delis and supermarkets. If you are unable to find salted cod, you can use fresh cod but you will need to add salt to the sauce and the cod (see recipe).
Sheet-Pan Greek Roasted Cod and Potatoes with Caramelized Onions, Tomatoes and Raisins – Bakaliaro Plaki
- Salted Cod about 2 pounds or fresh cod (skip desalting)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3-4 onions sliced in thin rings
- 3 tomatoes chopped or a 15 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bunch of parsley chopped
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup black raisins
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 4-5 medium potatoes sliced in thin rounds
- salt/pepper as needed
- De-salt cod for 24 hours (see above)
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius).
- In a pan sauté the onion until soft for about 10 minutes.
- Once the onion is sautéed, add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add the tomatoes, the tomato paste, the parsley, the wine, lemon juice and pepper (add 1/2 tsp of fine sea salt if using fresh cod).
- Bring the sauce to a boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Oil a large pan and place the sliced potatoes on the bottom. They should not overlap. Over that place the pieces of cod (rub the cod with kosher salt if using fresh cod)
- Once your sauce has simmered for 10 minutes, add the raisins.
- Pour the sauce over the cod and potatoes (remove bay leaf), moving things around so that the sauce has gone everywhere. The sauce will not be very thick.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook covered for about 35 minutes, uncover and check potatoes, they should be fairly easy to pierce. Cook for another 15-20 minutes uncovered, until potatoes are done and all the liquids (except the olive oil) are gone.
- Remove from oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved
Do you take the cod out early? Or cook the potatoes alone before adding the cod on top? 50+ minutes seems way too long to cook a piece of fish.
Just made your cod dish and it was amazing! I am not a big fish eater but the recipe looked interesting so I picked up some cod loins and cut them into 100g pieces. Will definitely make this again and again! Thanks!
Thank you Kim! Happy you enjoyed it!
Me again! I’m about to make this for the 4th time and was wondering if I could freeze it. I like to prepare meals for my daughter away at school…she loves this too!
I’m a big fan of mediterranean cooking and your blog, and here in Serbia we actually have quite a lot of dishes influenced by Greek cuisine..I have tried many of your recipes, and loved them!
One question- can we use a different type of fish, and which one, if I cannot find the cod?
I am new to cooking authentic Mediterranean.
So far I have made several recipes you have offered here and taking in some of the great ideas offered in reviews and each one has been a win for my family!!
I made this dish tonite and we were out of potatoes but found a frozen package of shredded root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots) I used as the base to layer over…it was Delish!!
Thank you Kathy! Great addition with the root vegetables!
My family and I just started this amazing blog and so far all of your recipes have been AMAZING. Thank you for all the effort you put here. For this recipe, it calls for white wine, is there anything that can be substituted for it or can it be left out? I don’t drink and there is NEVER alcohol in the house.
Great recipe. What type of aine should i use? Red, white?
Thanks Didi! White wine is preferable, but if you don’t have any you may use red.
I also am from Chicago,living in Las Vegas now. My ma passed and it’s me and my dad now and I want to cook for him. We went and got the cod and already had it soaking. I remember that much.LOL My mom used to make this dish often. Thank you for the recipe.I am so glad I found you . Yassou Eleni.
Ps Look forward to seeing more emails in my box.
Thank you Spiros for sharing your story! This is one of my favorite dishes.
Enjoy your blog. Trying to get a handle on Greek diet.
What a find! I saw an entre from MyParea on Facebook and followed the link. So far every recipe that I read was right out of my mother’s kitchen in Chicago! I could not translate her own hand written cookbook but you site is the next best thing. Yiassou!
Thank you Nick! Glad you are enjoying!
What a find! I saw an entre from MyParea on Facebook and followed the link. So far every recipe that I read was right out of my mother’s kitchen in Chicago!I could not translate her own hand written cookbook but you site is the next best thing. Yiassou!