This dish called atascaburras recalls the classic French dish known as brandade, but made without milk. Here, it is served in a bowl and garnished with chopped walnuts and chopped hard-boiled eggs, with bread alongside, but you can also serve it spread on toasted bread and sprinkled with nuts.–Joyce Goldstein
Salt Cod and Potato Spread Recipe
Hands-On Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes, not including cooling or chilling | Serves 8 to 10
- 1 pound salt cod fillet (buy it)
- 2 russet potatoes, about 1 pound total
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
- 12 slices country bread, toasted or grilled, for serving
- 1. Place the cod in a bowl with cold water to cover and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours (the thicker the piece, the longer it will take), changing the water 3 or 4 times.
- 2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Pierce the potatoes in a few places, place in the oven, and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven, let cool until they can be handled, and then peel and pass the warm potato pulp through a ricer into a bowl, or mash in a bowl with a fork.
- 3. While the potatoes are baking, drain the cod. In a saucepan, combine the cod with water to cover, bring to a gentle simmer over low heat, and cook until quite tender when pierced with a fork, 10 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water. Let the cod cool until it can be handled, and then break up the cod with your fingers, discarding any errant bones, skin, or tough pieces. Set aside.
- 4. In a small saucepan, heat the oil until hot, and then remove from the heat.
- 5. Put the salt cod in a food processor and process until almost a puree. Add the garlic, the hot oil, and enough of the fish cooking water to make a smooth mixture. Fold in the mashed potatoes with a few quick pulses. Do not over-process or the mixture will become gummy. (You can also use a bowl with a wooden spoon or an immersion blender.) If the mixture is too stiff, whisk in a little more oil or fish cooking water. It needs to be spreadable. Mix in the parsley, lemon juice, and pepper.
- 6. Mound the mixture on a serving platter or in a wide bowl, and garnish with the walnuts and eggs. Accompany with the bread.
- Spanish: Godello (Valdeorras) Viura/blend (Rioja, Catalonia)
- Non-Spanish: dry Chenin Blanc (France, South Africa), Alvarinho (Portugal)
Salt Cod and Potato Spread Recipe © 2009 Joyce Goldstein. Photo © 2009 Leigh Beisch. All rights reserved.