Baccala on Crostini with Leek Puree Recipe
Baccala also known as salt cod is used through out all regions of Italy and is very versatile. This cod has been heavily salted to preserve it and in Italy in the past was known as poor man’s food. You have to plan this recipe a few days prior as you need to soak the fish in water that you change regularly for 3 days. The leek puree on the base of the crostini was my idea and works fantastically. This can be sourced from good Italian Delis, but I also know that it is available at the IGA in Hamilton Hill, Perth
Makes about 20 crostini’s
- 250 gm salt cod, soaked, skinned and cleaned of any bones *
- sea salt and white pepper
- 1 – 2 tsp of finely chopped parsley
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- ½ lemon
- ½ baguette
- 2 tsp capers
- 1 anchovy
- ½ eschallot
Cut the salt cod into 5 cm pieces and place them in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Add a small pinch of salt, a bay leaf, your onion and continue to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, until your fish is tender. Turn off the heat, but leave the fish to cool in the water.
Once cooled remove the salt cod pieces and place in a mixing bowl, removing any other bones. Using a wooden spoon, start to mash the fish. Slowly drizzle in your extra virgin oil, stirring all the time. Continue until the fish has formed a nice, but not entirely smooth paste. There should still be small bits of fish here and there. Finely chop your capers, eshallot and anchovy and add into the fish- also add the parsley and garlic. Combine well and squeeze in your lemon juice and add some cracked white pepper. Taste to check if it also needs some salt and season accordingly, you may also want to add more lemon juice .
Pre heat your oven to 170 degrees. To make your crostini, slice your baguette into slices about 1 cm thick and place on a tray, then using a pastry brush, brush each slice with a little extra virgin olive oil. Bake in the oven till crisp about 5-7 minutes.