Cod and potato burgers

I am a bit late today, because I was in Chicago during the weekend meeting up with family and showing baby A. off: she walks now and had a ball at millennium park splashing around the Crown fountain and at the beach people watching and splashing about on the shore.

The recipe I’m sharing today is inspired by a dish my mother used to make often when we were young: cod layered with potatoes. I lowed it very much as a kid for its simple flavors. As I grew older and started making it myself, I started adding a spoonful of capers to add another layer of flavors, and a couple of months ago I had the idea of transforming it into burgers. It is now a bit of a classic.

They use only a handful of ingredients and are very quick to put together, particularly if you have leftover boiled or baked potatoes. Yet the use of capers and pickled lemon as seasoning, give the dish a whole new depth of flavors by introducing notes of acid, pop of saltiness and just a touch of sour to give a counterpoint to the fishiness of cod and the of simple earthiness of the potatoes. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.


  • 1 lb boiled potatoes (baked would work too)
  • 1 lb raw cod
  • 1/2 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 pickled lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • olive oil


  1. Chop the raw fish roughly with the capers, onion and pickled lemon using the pulse function of a food processor.
  2. Mash the potatoes and mix in the chopped fish mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and form into patties. If the mixture is too wet, you can add a couple of spoons of breadcrumbs. If it is too dry, you can add a bit of mayo.
  3. Coat the patties using the panko breadcrumbs and place on an oven sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake in a 375F oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown, turning over once to get even browning and cooking.
  4. You can serve with a light mixed green salad and a bit of tartar sauce or lemony mayo on the side.
This entry was posted in Entrée, Seafood and tagged burgers, cod, fish, pescatarian, Potato. Bookmark the permalink.

Zuppa Toscana della Nonna Tina, Minestrone Recipe from Florence

This is a staple in our home, a soup my mother-in-law Luisa makes often during the winter in large batches. This recipe has been in her family for at least 100 years! She told me she remembers when her grandmother used to make it for her when she was growing up. Her grandmother had gotten the recipe passed down from her mother who in turn had gotten it from hers! As with all passed down recipes, she didn’t have it written down and every time makes it by estimating quantities. I asked her more or less to estimate how much of each ingredient and then made it myself. It came out very good, and here you can see some pictures we took as we prepared it a few days ago!


  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cannellini beans, cooked
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1/2 savoy cabbage, cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium leek, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 vegetable buillon cubes
  • water
  • salt to taste
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • 1-2 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 1 cup farro, uncooked (optional)
    1. In a large pot, add enough extravirgin olive oil to cover the bottom, add onion and saut until tender.
chopped onions in pot with olive oil
    1. Add cannellini beans and the celery, carrots, cabbage, leek, garlic and vegetable buillon cubes. Add enough water to cover all of the ingredients and a bit more. It shouldn’t be too watery.
veggies in pot
    1. Simmer uncovered on low heat for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add some hot water while it cooks if it seems to be getting too dense.
parsley into pot
    1. Add the parsley and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste the soup and add salt if needed. Add the basil and remove from heat.
soup is ready to eat!

The soup is ready to be served!

Variations: The quantities of the vegetables and beans can be changed to your preferences. If you add more beans, it will be more dense and flavorful. You can add more vegetables to make it lighter. It is good all by itself or with some toasted bread dipped into the soup.

With farro: Once the soup is cooked, add the farro and more water. The cooking time will vary depending on what farro you have used. Follow the time indications on the package, although generally it takes 30-40 minutes for the farro to be cooked. The soup will become more dense, a hearty soup great for winter! I recommend you try this soup with and without farro, and see which one you prefer.

Buon appetito!

Tuscan Soup Recipe made at the restaurant

Olive Garden® Zuppa Toscana

This is a much requested recipe on the site given its name! Someone who used to work at the Olive Garden sent in the original recipe and I’ve adapted it to serve just 6-8. Try it since it is really yummy!

It is a very good soup and hits the spot on cold winter days. I’ve included this and a few other Olive Garden-inspired recipes on the site for all of our visitors that enjoy eating at the restaurant chain. In my opinion, making these recipes at home makes them even better than the ones you eat at the restaurant! 🙂

Makes: 6-8 servings


  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic puree
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 cubes of chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
  • ¼ of a bunch of kale
    1. Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
    1. In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
    2. Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
    1. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
    2. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
    3. Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve. Delicious!

Buon appetito!