This is a really easy recipe, but the measures are guidelines. The cod's roe and the bread will vary, so it might require a little more or a little less and you may need to slake the mix with water if it gets too think. Make it slowly, and follow your instincts, you want the roe to have the consistency of thick mayonnaise. If you don't want to serve on toast, this is really lovely in a cup-shaped lettuce leaf, try romaine or little gem; but we serve it on crispy fried sourdough as an indulgent treat.
For the cod’s roe
- 300 g cod’s roe
- 100 g stale white bread, crusts removed and broken into chunks
- Milk, enough to cover the bread
- 1 garlic clove
- Olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
For the picada
- 2 handfuls blanched almonds
- Vegetable oil
- Salt & pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Sour dough toast
- Dressed salad leaves
For the cod’s roe:
- Place the bread chunks in a large bowl and cover with milk to soak until soft.
- Remove the membrane from the cod’s roe.
- Place the roe in a food processor and blitz to a paste.
- Squeeze as much milk out of the bread as you can before adding to the food processor, with a clove of garlic and give it a further blitz.
- With the food processor running drizzle in olive oil and 2⁄3 lemon juice until it resembles thick mayonnaise and has tripled in volume.
- If it becomes too thick add a slosh of water.
- Add a dash of tabasco & salt to taste.
For the picada
- Place your almonds in food processor and blitz to a crushed consistency.
- Add a good soaking of vegetable oil to a hot frying pan and cook the almonds to light golden colour, about 4 minutes.
- Add your crushed garlic, a brave pinch of salt, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
- Strain onto a plate, and allow to cool completely.
- Take a piece of buttered toast.
- Fry until crisp on both sides.
- Add a spoonful of cod’s roe.
- Tumble a handful of dressed salad leaves over the toast.
- Add a generous sprinkle of picada and serve.