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Full disclosure: yes, this recipe takes time because the cod needs to soak for up to 3 days, so think prepare ahead of time. But rest assured, your patience will be worthwhile — after all, Rome wasn't built in a day! This famous northern Italian antipasti bursts with flavour that'll be sure to start your evening right.

Preparation 20 min
Cooking time 10 min
Portions 8-12

Allow 48 to 72 hours to soak the cod



  1. Soak the salt cod in water and refrigerate for 48 to 72 hours. The water should be changed every 12 hours.
  2. Drain the cod and place in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and then, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Once cooked, remove the cod from the water and let cool.
  3. Shred the cod by hand and set aside.
  4. Combine the milk, cream, garlic, and bay leaf in a pot. Bring to a simmer and then remove from the heat. Discard the bay leaf. Cover the pot and set aside.
  5. In a food processor, add the cod. Alternating the milk mixture and the oil, process while slowly incorporating the liquids. Scrape down the sides of the bowl during the process. The mixture should be smooth and spreadable. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  7. Lightly brush each side of the crostini pieces with olive oil. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The bread should be golden brown.
  8. Spread the cod mixture on each crostini. Top with the parsley and lemon zest. Serve.