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Salt cod fritters with spinach

Serves 6

Salt cod fritters with spinach

recipes and photographs taken from tapas step-bystep by beverly leblanc, photography by mike cooper (love food, £16)

Ingredients

  • 250g dried salt cod in 1 piece
  • 140g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 100-150ml milk
  • 2 lemon slices
  • 2 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½tbsp garlic-flavoured olive oil
  • 85g fresh baby spinach, rinsed
  • ¼tsp Spanish paprika
  • Spanish olive oil, for shallowfrying
  • aïoli, to serve

Method

Put the dried salt cod into a large bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 48 hours, changing the water at least three times a day.

Sift the flour, baking powder and 1/4tsp salt into a large bowl and make a well. Mix the egg with 100ml of the milk and pour into the well, stirring to make a smooth batter with a thick consistency. If the batter seems too thick, gradually stir in the remaining milk. Leave to stand for at least 1 hour.

Drain the salt cod and transfer to a large frying pan. Add the lemon slices, parsley sprigs, bay leaf and enough water to cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until the fish is tender and flakes easily.

Meanwhile, heat the garlicflavoured oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the spinach with just the water clinging to the leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes, until wilted.

Drain the spinach in a sieve, using the back of a spoon to press out any excess liquid. Finely chop the spinach, then stir it into the batter with the paprika.

Take the fish from the water and flake, removing all the skin and bones. Stir the fish into the batter.

Heat enough olive oil for shallow frying in a large frying pan. Use a greased tablespoon to drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil and fry for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fritters to kitchen paper to drain. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot or at room temperature with aïoli for dipping.