Brandacujun is a West Liguria dish that combines land and sea, based on potatoes and stockfish, where extra virgin olive oil is a key ingredient.
In Italian cuisine, extra virgin olive oil is generally used as a condiment or as a base for fried foods. However, there are some regional dishes in which oil plays a really relevant role, becoming one of the main ingredients.
In Liguria, a region known for its abundance of olive oil, among the recipes that pay tribute to our “liquid gold”, there is the famous “Brandacujun”. It is a preparation very similar to mashed potatoes, where potatoes and boiled stockfish are crushed together and dutifully, generously, seasoned with extra virgin olive oil of the highest quality.
The curious name of the recipe probably comes from the Provençal verb “brandare”, which means “shake”, since the essential procedure for mixing fish and potatoes consisted, and still consists if you want to have fun, in grabbing by the handles and vigorously shake the pot in which the ingredients are closed (see video below).
The Brandacujun can be enjoyed as a single dish, perhaps accompanied by a fresh salad, or for a delicious summer aperitif as I propose here: spread on bread croutons with the addition of a local Taggiasca olive!
You can find below the video that I shot in collaboration with the oil mill Novella & Vignolo, a small oil mill in business for more than 150 years in Recco, in the Paradise Gulf with an equally ancient olive just grove overlooking the sea!
Below you can find the recipe of Brandacujun as I prepare it. A couple of tips before leaving you to the recipe:
- Just the fun shaking of the pot may not be enough to mix the ingredients well, especially if it is hot and you lack the strength. You can very well mix vigorously with a wooden spoon. The optimal result is a consistent mash where you find it hard to figure out where the potato ends and the fish begins. Refrain blender.
- Add the oil first before mixing the ingredients, the vigorous “scramble” will facilitate the creaming of the potatoes.
- The other flavors – parsley, crushed garlic and lemon juice – add them before stirring, but Tienine always a little aside to adjust the recipe to your taste: each garlic tastes different, each lemon has a different acidity, each parsley has its own intensity. Taste, fix, try, fix… until your palate tells you it works. Even with salt, put it at the end and adjust it to your taste! Have fun!
Are you looking for fresh and light recipes for a summer aperitif? You can take a look at the recipe of stuffed zucchini flowers baked in the oven, or polpettone: the potato and green beans tart, which can prepared the day before and can be served at room temperature cut in bite cubes. Also eggplant patties, they are not bad!!