Dried salted cod from the cold waters of Scandinavia is a staple in many European countries, adored for its white flesh that can morph into hundreds of dishes. Beppi Polese has been serving this clever starter in his restaurant since the late 1950s. The salty fish is whipped up with herbs, garlic, lemon and oil into a rich, creamy sauce, and it is all done in a mix-master! It is delicious served with grilled polenta. Just begin soaking the cod two days in advance.
- 600 g salt cod
- ⅔ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ⅔ cup finely chopped celery leaves
- pinch of finely chopped chives
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- freshly ground black pepper or dried chilli flakes
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 500 ml extra virgin olive oil
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.
You will need to begin this recipe two days ahead.
Soak the cod in cold water for 2 days, changing the water 3 times a day.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the drained cod, boiling for 3 minutes. Drain and leave to cool briefly.
Pick the cod flesh from the skin and bones and place back in the saucepan with 1 litre of fresh water and bring to the boil. Boil for 20 minutes, or until the water reduces to 500 ml. Drain the cod, reserving the cooking water, and leave to cool.
Put the cod, herbs, garlic, anchovies and pepper or chilli to taste into the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment (alternatively, you could use electric hand beaters). Begin whisking and slowly add the lemon juice, followed by the cod cooking water. Gradually drizzle in the oil and continue whisking for approximately 20 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy.