Asparagus with smoked cod brandade, radish, burnt butter

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James Durrant's asparagus with cod recipe makes an impeccable dinner party starter, with the woody asparagus giving a creamy counterpoint to the cod mousse. Make sure you slice the bread thinly to get the crisps perfectly thin.

First published in 2015
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Cod mousse

Burnt vinaigrette

  • 250g of butter
  • 60ml of red wine vinegar

Bread crisps

  • 1 bread
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread, very thin

Asparagus and radish


  • Mandoline
  • Blender
  • Piping bag and nozzle


First, make the cod mousse. Place a pan over a low-medium heat and add a dash of oil. Once hot, add the leeks and onions and sweat until soft but not coloured. Add the diced cod and cook until partially cooked, for 1-2 minutes, then add 450ml of the cream and bring to the boil
Transfer the mix to a blender and blitz for 2 minutes. Pass the mix through a chinois, mix in the gelatine and place in a tray. Leave in the fridge until set
  • 3 1/2 gelatine leaves, soaked
Once the mix is set, semi-whip the remaining cream and fold into the set mousse. Season to taste and store in the fridge until ready to serve
For the burnt vinaigrette, heat the butter in a pan until brown and slightly burnt. Mix in the red wine vinegar and remove from the heat
  • 250g of butter
  • 60ml of red wine vinegar
For the bread crisps, slice the bread wafer-thin and place under a hot grill, watching the whole time until lightly toasted
  • 1 bread
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread, very thin
Using a mandoline, finely slice the radish and 4 of the asparagus spears, then place in iced water to crisp up and curl. Trim and discard a 1/3 from the base of the remaining spears and cook for 2 minutes in salted boiling water. Refresh in iced water and set aside
Transfer the cod mousse to a piping bag and pipe a few small mounds onto each plate. Arrange the asparagus spears alongside and top with the shavings of asparagus and radish. Add the bread crisps and drizzle over the burnt vinaigrette. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

After a stellar career working in some of the UK's best kitchens, James Durrant is a dab hand at cooking classic British fare at the very highest level.

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