Ionian style brandade of salt cod (Μπρανταδα μπακαλιαρου)

Salt cod is a favourite all over the Mediterranean, none more so than in Greece. From one end of the county to the other, there are many interesting and delicious recipes that call for this most versatile fish. Some of these include the traditional feast day dish of salt cod and skordalia and bourdeto, a dish of salt cod slow cooked with tomatoes, onions, potatoes and a hint of smokey dried chilli. 

 One of the rarer salt cod dishes to be found in Greece is a 'Brandade of salt cod' (Μπραντάδα μπακαλιάρου). It hails from Catholic Venetian ancestry and can be found in Santorini and in the Ionian Islands.  In essence, this dish is a voluptuous purée of salt cod enriched extra virgin olive oil and a healthy amount of garlic.  In Santorini, a dollop or two of the island's renowned tomato paste is also added. 

Ionian style brandade of salt cod (Μπραντάδα μπακαλιάρου)

Preparation time: 48+ hours (soaking)
Cooking time: 30 mins 
Serves: 6

Cooking note: the salt cod will need to be soaked for at least 48 hours+ before being cooked to remove the salt. First, place the fish under a running tap to rinse of the excess salt. Cut into large pieces. Then fill a large bowl with cold water Find a mesh sieve that will sit comfortably in the bowl. Place the fish in the sieve and the salt should then sink to the bottom of the bowl, rather than soaking back into the fish. Continue to change the water regularly. 


1kg of salt cod (well soaked, cut into large pieces)
6 cloves of garlic (or to your taste), crushed 
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley 


1. Put a saucepan of water on the boil for a few minutes. Reduce to a simmer and add the cod pieces. After a few minutes turn off the heat completely, place the lid on the pot and leave the cod for 1/2 an hour (avoid boiling the cod as this will just make it really tough and chewy). 

2. Remove from the pot and drain the cod. Remove the skin and bones and flake the cod into a bowl of a food processor. 

3. Add the crushed garlic and either using the slowest speed or the pulse function of processor, add the olive oil a drop at a time to make the cod smooth, velvety and creamy. Add the pepper and parsley and fold through. 

4. Serve with toasted slices of crusty country style sourdough bread and wedges of lemon. 

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Maira Gall