Cod brandade with roasted fennel and olives

Serves: 4
Course: Starter
Cooking Time: 1 hr 0 mins
  • 250g piece of skinless cod fillet
  • 1tsp salt
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh if possible
  • 250g potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced (a mandolin is best if you have one)
  • 300ml milk
  • Salt and white pepper
  • A squeeze of lemon
  • 1 large bulb of fennel, trimmed and quartered
  • A strip of orange peel
  • 1 star anise
  • 50ml water
  • A few olives to garnish

1 Set the oven to 185 degrees.

2 Sprinkle the cod with the salt, cover with clingfilm and put it in the fridge for three hours, then rinse under cold water and cut into chunks.

3 Warm 50ml of olive oil and add the garlic, followed by the onions and bay leaf. Cover and cook without letting the cod colour, over a gentle heat until soft and translucent.

4 Add the potatoes and the milk, making sure the potatoes are just covered by the liquid, then cook with the lid on over a low heat until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked.

5 Add the cod and cook for five more minutes, until it starts to flake. The mixture needs to be sloppy but not too wet.

6 Remove the bay leaf, season and purée with a stick blender and a little of the remaining oil and the lemon juice.

7 Meanwhile, put the fennel into a small tray with the orange peel, star anise, the remaining oil and water, then season.

8 Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes until soft and sweet.

9 Spread the brandade on to plates, and top with the fennel , olives and a few fennel fronds and juices to garnish. This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.

Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn is a chef, restaurateur and contributor to The Irish Times. He and his wife, Máire, run the Tannery restaurant and cookery school in Dungarvan, Co Waterford