The perfect cod’s roe paste

This recipe is from Elizabeth David’s English Potted Meats and Fish Pastes booklet (1968), with my variations.

  • 1 sac smoked cod’s roe
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs lemon juice and lemons
  • Fresh breadcrumbs
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Take the skin from the cod’s roe?usually it’s easy to peel it off slowly. Fork the roe in a basin with the olive oil and lemon juice until the eggs separate and the whole is nicely mushy. Add in breadcrumbs until it forms a soft paste (Elizabeth David uses mashed potato, which works fine).

It’s better to be sparing than end up with a boring result. Taste for oil and lemon and add more if you wish. Grind in pepper, and put in a dish in the fridge.

This can be done a day in advance. Bring up to room temperature before serving with hot toast (brown or white), a half lemon each and unsalted butter. Mrs David adds crushed raw garlic to the mix, but I find it too strong. Up to you.