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Recipe for Salt-Cod Brandade a Provencal Classic

The following recipe for salt-cod brandade comes from Gilles Conchy at The Provence Gourmet. The South of France native and his wife returned to the Aix-en-Provence area from southern California with mixed feelings. Although,  they were happy to be back in France they were sad to leave California (who wouldn’t be?).

The Provence Gourmet is a culinary experience. The day starts at the market, where Gilles Conchy will provide some menu ideas. Collectively you will shop for the ingredient, and sample some of the local specialities before heading to his kitchen where you will need to roll-up your sleeves and help with the preparation. After a couple of hours of cooking it’s time to eat. Read more about his cooking classes and corporate offerings here.

In Portugal, the culinary rumour is that there are 365 (or more) ways to cook salt-cod (bacalhau) – one for every day of the year. Cod is called morue in French. It is quite common to find this fish on menus, and it is often the “centre” of attention in the traditional Provencal aioli (recipe here). Gilles recipe for brandade a purée of salt cod, olive oil and other ingredients is below.

Salt-Cod Brandade Recipe Provence

Salt Cod Brandade

Salting fish was a process that began some 500+ years ago to preserve the cod, that was caught off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada. Salt is still used (although not as extensively) as a preservative for cod, the fish is essentially dried and dehydrated. The longest part of this recipe is soaking the salt-cod to fully remove the salt.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 day 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 6 people


  • 400 gr (14 oz) Salted cod
  • 400 gr (14 oz) ‘Old’ Potatoes they should flake easily when cooked
  • 40 cl (13 oz) heavy cream (35%)
  • 40 cl (13 oz) milk
  • 15 cl (5 oz) olive oil
  • 5 Garlic Cloves crushed
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 100 gr (4 oz) Dried Breadcrumbs for the topping
  • Dried hot pepper to taste


  • Preparation: 24H before cooking rinse the salt off your cod and cover it water in a dish.
  • Change the water 5 times throughout the next 24H, that’s the usual time for most of the salt to be taken out.
  • Peel and rinse your potatoes, cut them in half and boil them with the milk, the cream, the peeled garlic and the bay leaves.
  • Once cooked take your potatoes out and let them cool down.
  • Filter the milk/cream and keep it.
  • Meanwhile cook the cod into a pan filled with cold water. Note the cooking time is short.
  • Usually when water starts boiling the fish is cooked.
  • Remove the cod out and that check the meat falls apart easily. Never leave the fish into boiling water, it hardens it.
  • Separate the fish meat into small filaments removing all the bones.
  • Then pour the olive oil little by little while stirring the fish meat.
  • Once it is done add the potatoes and about half of the milk/cream.
  • Add a little hot pepper and mix it all with a fork until it becomes smooth and homogeneous.
  • Taste to check if seasoning suits you. Spread the breadcrumbs on top and grill it shortly just before serving with a green salad.
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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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