Prep 45 mins
Cook 15 mins
This is a comforting dish that’s great to serve for a gathering on a chilly fall evening. Just remember to start the preparations for this dish a day in advance. Time to make does not include the 24 hour soak time. Source: House and Home Magazine
- 2 lbs salt cod fish
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 medium leeks, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 5 ounces gruyere cheese, grated
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- cured black olives (to garnish)
- Soak the salt cod in cold water a minimum of 24 hours, changing water as often as possible. Rinse before using.
- In a large pot, cover the soaked, rinsed cod with fresh cold water. Add garlic cloves and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the fish flakes to the touch.
- Drain off the water and let fish cool. Discard bay leaves and garlic cloves. When fish is cool, separate into small flakes. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Cook leeks gently in 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup olive oil until soft, seasoning lightly with salt, cayenne and black pepper.
- Add to the flaked cod and toss together gently. Set aside.
- Prepare a béchamel sauce by using a wooden spoon to blend second 1/4 (50 mL) cup butter with flour over medium heat.
- Whisk in milk gradually, stirring constantly until béchamel sauce is thick and smooth. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
- Mix together béchamel sauce, Gruyère, leek and cod mixture.
- Pour into a 3 or 4 cup heat-proof buttered baking dish, dot with butter and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Gratin should be crisp, golden and bubbling.
- Garnish with black olives and a sprig of Italian parsley, if desired.
- Serve with toasted baguette or crisp flatbreads.