Small Plates

By Patrice Johnson | March 13, 2013

Photo: Patrice Johnson

Think of brandade de morue as fish and chips Provençale. Brandade is a puree of reconstituted salted cod, potato and aromatics. It is especially popular in regions where commercial salt cod is available, such as in the Mediterranean. Home-salted cod is a satisfying substitute, and happily the dish plays well with Scandinavian flavors.

This simple but glamorous pot of fish and potatoes is perfect for holiday parties. Serve the pot hot with bread or crackers and a cucumber and orange salad for a first course. Or spread the pâté uncooked over crostini, garnish with the almonds and herbs, bake 10 minutes, and then then pass a serving tray among your cocktail party guests. For a less formal snack, roll chilled brandade into balls and coat with egg wash and bread crumbs, then fry.

Photo: Patrice Johnson

Brandade Recipe

Servings: 12
Calories: 115 per serving


  • 1 pound cod
  • 1 cup Kosher salt
  • 4 cups almond milk
  • Zest from two lemons and one orange
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Three sprigs thyme or dill, plus more for garnish
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed but not minced
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 eggs , beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or cream
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 lemon , seeded and cut into 12 pieces
  • 1 orange , seeded and cut into 12 pieces


1. Cover cod completely in salt and refrigerate 24 to 48 hours.

2. Remove cod from refrigerator and rinse very well with cold water; pat dry with paper towels.

3. Add milk, zest, pepper, thyme or dill, onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg to bread loaf pan; place in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Add cod to hot milk and return to oven. Oven-poach fish for 10 to 12 minutes or until flaky and tender.

4. While cod poaches, cook potatoes in unseasoned water until tender; drain. Push cooled potatoes through ricer or food mill.

5. Remove cod from poaching liquid and cool. Remove any bones and skin; flake flesh as fine as possible.

6. Combine potatoes and cod; add eggs and mix well. Fold in olive oil and lemon juice.

7. Divide mixture evenly into 12 buttered ramekins. Garnish each ramekin with 1 tablespoon of almonds, thyme or dill, and nutmeg. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with lemon and orange wedges and thin slices of toasted bread.

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