Creamy, salty and deliciously more-ish, these snacks, or cichèti, are often served at Venetian bars, known as bàcari.
- 750 g baccala (wet-salted cod) (see Note), rinsed under cold running water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, bruised
- 400 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 12 slices sourdough bread, chargrilled
- chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 2 days
Drink match Zonin Prosecco NV, Valdobbiadene, Italy ($11)
Place baccala in a container and cover with cold water. Cover with a lid and place in the fridge for 2 days, changing water 3 times.
Remove baccala from liquid and place in a saucepan with bay leaves and garlic. Cover with cold water. Place over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer, then cook for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Drain, discarding bay leaves and garlic. Remove and discard skin and bones, then flake into small pieces.
Place baccala in a food processor and, with the motor running, gradually add oil in a thin, steady stream until smooth and emulsified. Drizzle in lemon juice. Spread onto chargrilled bread and season with pepper. Serve scattered with parsley and drizzled with extra olive oil.
• Baccalà (wet-salted cod) is available from the refrigerated section of delis.
Photography Chris Chen. Food preparation Phoebe Wood. Styling Berni Smithies. Drinks suggestion Dan Coward.
As seen in Feast magazine, April 2014, Issue 30.