Dancing Tomatoes

Live Class February 16th


February 16, 2023    
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm ( CET )
9:30 am ( PST ) / 11.30 am ( CST ) / 12.30 pm ( EDT )

Brandade de Morue is a specialty of Nimes, an ancient town in the department of the Gard, part of Occitanie in the south of France. The Romans chose the area around the city as one of their major settlements, and left many traces, from aqueducts to arenas. The dish we are going to make, brandade, is a specialty of Nimes, which seems odd since there is no port. But that’s why the dish was so important. Catholics, required by the church to fast on Fridays, could only eat fish. But they had no access to fresh fish so they relied on salt cod, like so many land-locked areas. They had an abundance of olive oil and garlic so, voila, brandade was born! It’s the simplest of dishes, yet so sumptuous that, personally, I’ve always been grateful to the ancient Nimois for dreaming it up. I am, though, using fresh cod in this version, which we salt ourselves. My reasons are two-fold: good salt cod is hard to find, and it’s fun to make your own salted fish. Team it with a crisp winter salad, like the one here, and heaven is nearby!

Get the Recipes:

(Click on the name to open the recipe)

Suggestions for completing the menu:

Here I suggest a simple plate of sliced winter radishes and fennel, with a light sprinkling of salt, and a blend of cumin and piment d’Espelette or hot paprika.

Wine suggestion:

Here you want to try a Costières de Nimes white, a wonderfully round and almost buttery wine made with grenache, marsanne, and roussane grapes from the rocky hillsides around the city. The Romans planted the vines around Nimes but it wasn’t until the 1950’s that the wine came into its own, and now it has an AOP, the French culinary badge of excellence.



1 pound (500g) waxy potatoes, the smallest you can find
5 large cloves garlic
1 lemon
1 pound (500g) Brussels sprouts
2 scallions
1 red bell pepper
1 big or 2 small bunches flat leaf parsley
1 fresh bay leaf, or dried imported


1 pound (500g) cod


1 cup (250ml) milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened


Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fleur de sel
About ¾ cup coarse sea salt
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (295ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 slices bread, toasted and rubbed with 1 clove garlic
1/4 cup oil-cured black olives

6 thoughts on “Live Class February 16th”

  1. Hi Susan
    I made this first time ever for a dip for an apero.
    I used correct amounts of fish milk and oil, however my mix was too liquid/loose.
    I was hoping it would stiffen up after a night in the fridge, but no it did not.
    It tasted delicious though, so next time I will pay more attention to the actual consistency whilst pulsing on the processor, and adding only as much liquids as is warranted.
    Super apero dish though . . . thinking I might add some mild green chilli and red pepper to the mix next time. 🙂

    1. Kaye, You are right to watch how much liquid; I will try to remember to mention this in our next class, as this is important. So glad you loved the flavor!

  2. I was unfamiliar with Brandade de Moru prior to this class so I was excited to try it. I embraced the challenge of coming up with different ways to serve it as well.
    I used frozen cod that I had in the freezer. Even though the package said it was one pound, I discovered once it was cooked (or in the freezer) it shrank. I should have compensated the oil and milk, but didn’t. It turned out more like soup. So I took the cooked potatoes and added it and it turned out amazing. I served it on crackers, crostini, and endive. I later stirred it into a potato leek soup. Anyway I served it, we loved it.

  3. Oh Susan!!! Bill and I were on our honeymoon years and years and years ago in Paris and had this wonderful cod, potato dish on Good Friday!!! I think this is it! I have tried and tried and tried to make it and am excite to see how this works out. It might be it!! The Brussels Sprouts were not part of our meal.
    In little Gig Harbor (Seattle) I don’t see Brussels Sprouts on the “stock” until summer – the farmers markets don’t have them here – actually I find the farmers markets mostly flowers. I remember as a child on the coast of California BS being a winter veggie. Maybe the mild climate? In the Metropolitan Market, the closest thing we have to a chain with local roots, the BS are in little bags right now. There is also a smaller market which I love, Harbor Greens: they too have BS but you need to pick your own. Thoughts? Are the BS just coming out now? Would love to know.
    Looking forward to joining you on Thursday. This meal looks truly lovely.

    1. Josie I love your story about cod and potatoes on Good Friday! This might be it!! As for Brussels sprouts, they are a winter vegetable. So now is still the time. With the way our weather is changing though, spring will soon be here and BS (love this) will be gone! As for substitutes, I’d say cabbage sliced VERY thin. But try those Brussels sprouts in a bag – they may be good. And yes, when I left Seattle in the early 90’s, the farmers’ market was leaning ever more heavily to flowers. There is more money for the growers than in vegetables. Sad to hear it is still so.

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