Baccalà mantecato is whipped salt cod, from the verb mantecare, which means to “whip” or “whisk.” This puree is usually served atop slices of grilled, fried, or baked polenta. It also can be paired with warm soft polenta for a very voluptuous contrast of hot and cold. In a most unusual pairing,
Soak the salt cod in water for 2 days, changing the liquid at least 3 times. Drain the salt cod and place in a saucepan. Add water or milk to cover and bring slowly to a gentle simmer. Simmer until the fish is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the salt cod and when cool enough to handle, break up into
Place the salt cod in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Gradually beat in as much oil as needed for a smooth puree. Pulse in the garlic and parsley and season with salt, pepper, and a bit of lemon juice, if you like. Serve as directed in recipe introduction.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.