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Brandade with Crostini

Serve small cups of brandade -- a Provencal specialty of salt cod, potatoes, and cream -- with crostini; with single portions, the cardinal rule of eating ("no double-dipping") doesn't apply.

  • Yield: Makes 3 1/2 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2004

Ingredients

For the brandade:

  • 1 pound best-quality boneless salt cod
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large russet potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Caperberries, stemmed and cut into small wedges, for garnish

For the crostini:

  • 1 ficelle or other thin baguette, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt

Directions

  1. Rinse cod under cold water. Transfer to a bowl; cover with cold water. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.

  2. Drain cod, and cover with fresh water. Cover; refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off top of each bulb to expose cloves. Place on foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; wrap. Roast until soft, about 45 minutes. Let cool.

  4. Squeeze cloves from bulbs into a bowl, and discard skins.

  5. Drain cod, and transfer to a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes. Drain cod, and let cool slightly. Transfer to a large bowl; flake into small pieces with a fork. Let cool.

  6. Cover potato with cold water by 2 inches in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. When slightly cool, force through a ricer. Let cool completely.

  7. Stir potato and garlic into cod. Stirring, pour in cream and 6 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper.

  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Brush one side of each slice with oil, and season with salt. Bake until golden brown on edges, 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheet. Garnish brandade with caperberries. Serve with crostini.

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