For a simple, just-the-right-amount-of-salty appetizer, doctor up a tin of anchovies. The acid, heat, and olive oil mellow the anchovies’ flavor, and serving them with a seedy loaf of bread and butter rounds the recipe.
- 1 4–5-ounce jar oil-packed anchovies, drained
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 2 peperoncini, thinly sliced, or ½ red Fresno chile, thinly sliced, or ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- Flaky sea salt (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- 8 slices seedy whole wheat bread, each cut into 4 triangles
Place anchovies in a shallow dish or small serving bowl and drizzle vinegar over. Let sit 5 minutes, then add peperoncini. Finely grate zest from half of lemon over anchovies. Slice lemon in half and squeeze in juice from both halves; drizzle with oil.
Scoop butter into a small dish and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper if desired. Serve marinated anchovies with bread and butter alongside.
Make Your Own Boquerones (Marinated White Anchovies)
Call them boquerones, gavros or just white anchovies, these little morsels are trendy. Boquerones — pronounced bo-keh-ROAN-ess — are not your mother's anchovies. They're sweet, firm, tart and not even remotely like the brown anchovies you find in cans.
Making boquerones takes a couple of days, so plan ahead. The great thing about them is that they're lightly cured so they stay in great shape for up to 30 days in the fridge.
Start with very fresh anchovies and clean them well, then follow these easy instructions.
Marinated Anchovies with Bread and Butter - Recipes
We do it every year as a co-op event: Seven of us prepare the seven fish/seafood dishes, and the eighth makes dessert. (Note: With seven courses, the portions are smaller.)
If you’re having a “regular” Christmas Eve party, set out the Feast Of The Seven Fishes as a buffet.
We live near a good Italian bakery and can pick up stirato, the Italian bread closest to a baguette but you can bake it yourself.
It’s a splendid feast, with opera playing in the background (or Christmas carols or Il Volo, if you prefer).
For menu suggestions and a backgrounder on the holiday, check out our:
RECIPE #1: OUR 2016 APPETIZER
As we sit around the sofa with bottles of wine, warming up for the main meal, we’re having a bread and butter with anchovies, inspired by the Tuscan grandmother of food writer Giulia Scarpaleggia. Nonna Menna added capers as well.
“Just use quality ingredients,” says Giulia, “because there are no tricks nor deceits!” You can even…
HAVE A TASTING, COMPARING THE DIFFERENT BRANDS
Butter. Our go-to butters are from Cabot’s and Vermont Creamery, but we’ll add Kerrygold, Organic Valley and Plugrá. If we had more capacity, we’d test Breakstone and Land o’ Lakes as well.
Anchovies. We are happy with Cento, an inexpensive brand available at supermarkets, Trader Joe’s and elsewhere. We can also find Ortiz and Roland in our neighborhood, and are ordering some fancy brands online. (There are no fresh anchovies in our markets now.)
Capers. Instead of Nonna’s capers, we’re using pimiento, a wonderful pairing with anchovies, with a garnish of chopped parsley. If we have time, we’ll add some lemon zest and garlic, or gremolata.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
The recipe is a no-brainer, but here’s how we’re serving it:
Place all the ingredients on the table and let people butter and top their own.
Ingredients & Preparation
RECIPE #2: FRUTTI DI MARE FIRST COURSE
Frutti di mare, “fruits of the sea” in Italian, is the name of a dish made of different seafood on the coasts of Italy.
Frutti di mare literally means “fruits of the sea” and can include all types of seafood, including mussels, clams, prawns and other shellfish.
It can be served in different ways: crudo (raw), fried and sautéed, for example.
Anchovies: Original Pairings
- Toasted bread, de-salted anchovies, slightly mature goat’s cheese and acacia honey. Because the intense taste of the sea teams up well with cheese, with fattiness mitigating and honey compensating the end result.
- Anchovy, orange, lemonand grapefruit in the form of grated zest or extracted juice: the resulting freshness will take you by surprise.
- Anchovy and pineapple. This may sound a bit outlandish but one of the most famous dips in Vietnamese cuisine is nuocnam sauce which calls for finely chopped pineapple, garlic and chilli pepper. Perfect for accompanying beef or fried fish.
- Anchovy and beetroot, for the sweetness of the latter which compensates the saltiness of anchovy.
- Anchovy and coconut milk. One of the most successful pairings offered by South East Asian cuisine.
23 Recipes That Prove Anchovies Deserve Your Love
Anchovies are one of those foods that are unfortunately misunderstood. Too many people hate anchovies, and while an aversion to them may be understandable, the stigma that surrounds them is undeserved.
People who claim to dislike this little fish may have simply had one bad experience. Ordering anchovies on your pizza at your local spot may have seemed courageous at the time, but it was most likely a disservice to your taste buds -- and to anchovies everywhere. The anchovies we typically find on pizzas tend to be the cheap kind that taste incredibly fishy. Dismissing anchovies as a result of some overly-fishy ones on one bad pizza is like saying you hate cheese when you have only ever tasted Cheez Whiz.
If you're basing your opinion on a one-time experience -- or even worse, having never tried them at all -- we think you ought to give anchovies a second chance. Anchovies are a powerful, potent ingredient that have been heralded for centuries. They offer an umami quality to recipes -- adding depth and complexity to many dishes. They are the secret ingredient to one of the most popular salads in the Unites States -- the Caesar salad -- and they're the X-factor in many steak sauces and beloved Italian pasta dishes. With all they have to offer, you just might want to give anchovies another try.
In the land of ouzo, fish and seafood nibbles are truly, very popular. Admittedly we prefer our fish fresh and baked on the grill, sprinkled with lemon and olive oil. Especially during summer when seas and shores are teeming with life, aquatic and not and we are all stewing under an unforgiving summer sun. There is nothing better than a lazy afternoon in front of the sea with salty treats washed down with a bit of ouzo. Anchovies, marinated in all their herby glory never go unnoticed.
Autumn is approaching fast, we got our fair share of thunderstorms this week and preserving the sea treasures seems more apt than ever. I am not talking about the sea shells you picked from the sea-side. Alas, they are not edible. It’s all about the anchovies, sealing a bit of sea-salt and sun in a jar to accompany you throughout winter. Weather permit, we still indulge in a bit of ouzo and sea-food mezze, even if it’s not in front of the sea but from our own balconies.
I have a very soft spot for the little anchovies. For all small fish to be honest. We normally fry whitebait in a light butter but these deserve very special treatment. It’s a quick curing process, perhaps a little fussy, but it’s definitely worth the effort. A jar of anchovies in the fridge, gives you a light lunch on the spot and a fun mezze evening for impromptu gatherings. So if you are up for it, here is the recipe.
What you will need for a 500 gr jar of marinated anchovies:
- 1 kg of fresh anchovies
- coarse sea salt
- ½ lt of strong vinegar
- a spoonful of peppercorns
- a spoonful of capers
- 2 garlic cloves
- 400-500 gr of olive oil
1 container for curing, 1 jar for storing.
A little note on herbs, spices and oil:
On what you use, imagination is your only limit. I used the typical garlic clove and capers that I love and a few peppercorns for added spice. If at hand, I also like using oregano or rosemary sprigs. Many people would go for the occasional chilli or pepper but I found these flavours overpower the light fish flavour.
When it comes to the oil, do not forget it is your preserving agent and it is really important to give your fish good coverage. I use extra virgin olive oil, in Greece we live and breath olive oil. If your supplies of olive oil are scarce or too pricey, you can replace it with a vegetable oil like sunflower oil and it will keep well. The upside of olive oil is that you can also use it when serving and it is wonderfully with all the herbs. It is practically perfect for dipping your bread in. So if you go for it, you will not regret it.
Time required: approximately 2 days
How to marinate anchovies:
- Clean the fresh anchovies thoroughly and remove head, guts and spine.
- Rinse very well, it’s really important to remove any residue from cleaning.
- Place a layer of the filleted fish in a container and sprinkle with coarse salt. Repeat the layers until all the fish is in the container and has a good coverage of salt.
- Close the container firmly and place in the fridge for 24 hrs.
- The following day rinse the salt off of the anchovies.
- Place them again flat in a container and make sure your anchovies are covered with vinegar.
- Leave them again in the fridge for 6 hrs. They are ready to flavour.
- Take your jar and place them in layers, making sure each layer has a thin slice of garlic, some peppercorns and capers.
- Repeat until your jar is almost full and then fill with olive oil.
- They are ready for you to enjoy either as a mezze or in salad. Crack open a bottle of ouzo too, it’s true sea-food joy.
Aw, I almost forget, you can keep your anchovies in the fridge for up to a year. My experience tells me though, you will use it up much quicker!
Pan con Tomate with Anchovies & Duck Fat
Recipe adapted from chef Angie Mar, Beatrice Inn, New York, NY
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
1½ pounds heirloom tomatoes
1 large bunch basil, picked and cut into chiffonade
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
20 good cracks black pepper
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
Medium baguette, cut in half lengthwise and split into 4 quarters
20 roast or confit garlic cloves
* If you can't find smoked honey, you can make it yourself with a smoking gun or substitute regular honey.
1. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and slices of various sizes. This is a fork-and-knife dish, not bruschetta, so keep the pieces substantial. In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and anchovies, and stir to combine. Check for seasoning and set aside.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and duck fat. Place the baguette slices, cut-sides down, in the fat and fry until golden brown on both sides, flipping occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes.
3. While the bread is frying, mash the garlic cloves in a bowl to form a thick paste.
4. Remove the bread from the fat and smear the garlic mash across it in a thick layer while the bread is still warm. Use all of the garlic. Drizzle the baguette with smoked honey and top with the tomato mixture. Serve immediately.
Pane, Burro, e Acciughe (Bread, Butter, and Anchovies)
Bread, butter, and anchovies – three ingredients that go together perfectly, much like the way basil, tomato, and spaghetti go together in spaghetti al Pomodoro or mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and basil come together in a Caprese salad. The combination of salty anchovies and creamy, buttery fat spread across each slice of crusty bread comes together in a way that was simply meant to be.
Pane, burro, e acciughe is one of the dishes that Italians always have at their ready in case unexpected company – or hunger – suddenly strikes. With just three simple ingredients and virtually zero cooking effort, you can throw together this dish as a satisfying snack or appetizer. And because there is no actual cooking involved, pane, burro, e acciughe is an ideal summertime dish – just the kind of thing you might serve on those blisteringly hot days when you can't bear to even go near a stove.
While it's nearly impossible to mess up this dish, there is one important thing to remember: there are only three ingredients in this dish, so each one counts. Choose a freshly baked, rustic loaf of bread with a hard outer crust and soft interior. As for the butter, we suggest cultured. Similar to yogurt, cultured butter contains live active bacteria giving it a tangier taste. Make sure the butter is unsalted (the anchovies will bring plenty of salt) and that you bring it to room temperature before serving so that it spreads easily on the bread.
Last but not least, the anchovies. This final ingredient is really all a matter of opinion. Marinated anchovies will have a slightly less intense "anchovy" taste and have a brighter flavor, especially if they are marinated in some form of acid (think: vinegar or lemon juice). On the other hand, anchovies that have been preserved in olive oil and salt will have a stronger taste and more intense salinity. Choose your favorite and you can't go wrong!
1 loaf rustic Italian bread, sliced
8 tablespoons butter, unsalted and at room temperature
1 (2-ounce) tin anchovies in extra virgin olive oil
Cut the rustic bread into thick slices.
On each slice, spread two tablespoons of room temperature butter and top with one or two anchovy fillets.
Mussels with basil on crusty bread
Everybody in Apulia is mad about seafood, and there are countless delicious recipes. Also deservedly famous is the deliciously tasty bread of Altamura, but any good-quality crusty bread will work well.
fresh live mussels 875g
Altamura or other crusty bread 12 slices
basic tomato sauce 6 tbsp
extra-virgin olive oil 60ml
fresh basil leaves 1 handful
Clean and wash all the mussels and place them in a large pot over a high heat. Steam, covered, for about 5 to 8 minutes, shaking the pot frequently to encourage them all to open. Remove the pot from the heat and leave to cool until easy to handle, then remove all the molluscs from their shells.
Oil a baking tray and lay the bread in it. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Spread each slice of bread with tomato sauce and cover with shelled mussels, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with basil and serve.
What if you&rsquove got a bit more time?
Anchovies work very well in lamb dishes &ndash they accentuate the meat's flavour without making it fishy. For a quick and satisfying supper have a go at lamb mince skewers with coriander dip, lamb cutlets with anchovy and herb butter or lamb cutlets with tapenade.
If you're looking for a weekend project, try barbecued cumin lamb chops with anchovy butter or roast lamb stuffed with garlic, anchovies and rosemary.
James Murphy/Ebury Press
Anchovies also go well with other fish, so experiment with a piquant salsa verde for sea bass or a parsley, mint and anchovy sauce for mackerel.
You can even incorporate the high-flavour fish into a side dish. We love creamy roasted broccoli with anchovies, garlic and chilli anchovy potato gratin and this hearty Niçoise bake.