Salt cod pintxos with romesco


  • Serves 8 people

You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

  • 20 gm sea salt flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp thyme, finely chopped
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 200 gm blue-eye trevalla, cut into 5cm chunks
  • 300 gm sebago potatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra for shallow-frying
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 350 ml milk
  • 2 tbsp each finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and oregano, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1½ lemons
  • 1 eggwhite, whisked to firm peaks
  • 1 baguette, thinly sliced
  • For drizzling: sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil
  • Romesco
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato, quartered
  • 1 red capsicum, quartered
  • 1 garlic head, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 25 gm crustless sourdough bread, coarsely torn
  • 20 gm roasted hazelnuts
  • 1½ tbsp Sherry vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
01   Combine salt, garlic, thyme and lemon rind in a non-reactive container, add fish, stir to coat well. Refrigerate to cure (12 hours).
02   For romesco, preheat oven to 200C, drizzle tomato, capsicum and garlic with 1 tbsp oil on an oven tray, season and roast until tender (25-30 minutes). When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from skins (discard skins), then transfer garlic, tomato, capsicum and any pan juices to a food processor. Add bread, hazelnuts, vinegar, lemon juice and paprika, and process until smooth (1-2 minutes). With motor running, slowly add remaining oil and process until emulsified. Season to taste and refrigerate for flavours to develop (1-2 hours).
03   Bring potato and enough cold water to cover generously to the boil in a saucepan, cook until tender (10-12 minutes), drain and mash with a fork. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small saucepan, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes), then add to potato. Rinse fish under cold running water, bring to the simmer in a small saucepan with milk and poach until just cooked through (2-3 minutes). Drain, coarsely flake and add to potato mixture with herbs, paprika, lemon juice and rind. Fold through whisked eggwhite, season to taste and set aside.
04   Heat 3cm oil in a large deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add tablespoonfuls of potato mixture to oil in batches and shallow-fry, turning occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and keep warm.
05   To serve, drizzle baguette slices with a couple of drops each of sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, spread with romesco and top with a fritter. Skewer with a toothpick and serve warm scattered with extra herbs.
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