Brandade De Morue au Gratin

Episode 125: Ocean Options
Recipe: Brandade De Morue au Gratin (Brandade au Gratin)

Brandade is a puree of salt cod, garlic, and potato emulsified with olive oil. You can prepare the brandade ahead and reheat it in a gratin dish at serving time until hot, bubbly, and brown on top.

Then let your guests either dip the toasts in the brandade or spread some of the mixture on them.

Brandade De Morue au Gratin

Serves 8 to 10 as an hors d’oeuvre

1 pound salt cod
2 large Red Bliss potatoes (about I pound)
1 teaspoon lemon rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups milk, heated until hot
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 baguettes, cut into about 50 1/2-inch-thick rounds

Rinse the cod under cold running water and put it in a large bowl containing about 5 quarts cold water. Let soak for at least 4 hours, changing the water after 2 hours.

Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover them with cold water, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and boil the potatoes gently for about 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside.

Drain the cod. Put it in a saucepan with 8 cups cold water, bring just to a gentle boil, and drain immediately. Rinse out the pan and add the cod and 4 cups cold water. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Drain.

When the cod is cool enough to handle, remove any skin and bones with your fingers, breaking the flesh into pieces. Return the cod to the pan, add the milk and garlic, and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook gently for 10 minutes.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2-inch pieces.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put the cod, with the milk, and the garlic, in a food processor. Add the lemon zest and potatoes and process for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and process briefly to incorporate. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and continue processing until the mixture is very smooth.

Lightly oil an 8-cup gratin dish and transfer the brandade to the dish, spreading it out evenly. (The brandade can be made several hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

Sprinkle the brandade with the cheese and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and it is hot throughout. (If the brandade has been refrigerated, increase the baking time by about 10 minutes.)

Meanwhile, arrange the rounds of bread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Serve the brandade with the toasts for dipping or spreading.

Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


  • mike

    The recipe does not give baking instructions????

    • Jacques Pepin

      Hi Mike-
      The recipe has been corrected to include the baking instructions. Thank you for alerting us about this missing information.

      • Jamie

        Thank you Jacque & Team for being so up-to-date on your site! That means alot nowadays :)

  • Nancy

    I know that the recipe says to use salted cod. But can you use fresh cod? This was a favorite dish at a favorite meal that I had in Paris last December!

  • jean

    Where does one find salt cod or can it be soaked in a brine to salt it? Jean Ann

  • Susan Jaye-Kaplan

    Having a French son in law and grandchild….this recipe is a delight. They love it and so do I. Perfect for a summer night or any night and a sure hit with everyone. Delicious! Thank you to Jacques Pepin. Love your show and love the recipes.

  • Memaw

    How would it be if you substituted canned crab for the cod?

  • Sarah

    Would it work to substitute pecorino for the Parmesan or would it be too sharp/salty?