Thursday, July 1, 2010

Don't fear the 'chovy!

Consider the anchovy.

It's small, fuzzy, and salty. And most people hate them.

To those philistines, I say, "Man up!"

Anchovies are your secret weapon in the kitchen. They are slipped into sauces and dressings to add a nutty, slightly briny quality without you even knowing they are there. You just know what you are savoring is deliciousness on a plate. Many times anchovies are one of the star ingredients in a dish like puttanesca or delightful puff pastry stuffed with the little suckers. Other times their presence goes undetected, as in a green goddess dressing. Below are a couple of ideas for you to start incorporating them into your cooking. Be brave! Give 'em a try!

The Best Damn Caesar Dressing Ever

6 anchovy fillets (oil packed)
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 egg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp capers
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 1/2Tbl Worcestershire sauce
a couple of dashes of hot sauce (I like Chipotle Tabasco)
ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup olive oil

In a small food processor, combine all ingredients except for oil. Mash it up good, until garlic, capers, and anchovies have become a paste. With the motor running, slowly add oil until dressing has thickened. Pour over torn Romaine lettuce and toss with shaved pecorino or parmigiano cheese and finely chopped anchovies. Garnish with additional cheese and grape tomatoes (optional) and serve with crostini.

Green Goddess Dressing

You don't need a food processor for this, but why spend your time choppin' when you could get to eatin'.

3-4 anchovies
1 shallot (or 2 green onions), chopped
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 Tbl fresh tarragon
1 Tbl fresh mint
2 Tbl fresh basil
2 Tbl fresh parsley
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp white pepper

Throw all that stuff in a small food processor, and whir, baby, whir! This is great on a simple wedge salad or on mixed greens with radishes, green onions, red peppers, and oil cured olives. (I like to throw in some blue cheese and grilled chicken to make it a meal)

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Anchovy Sauce

1 head cauliflower, broken down to florets
2 Tbl olive oil (plus 1 Tbl for sauce)
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3 anchovy fillets
2 Tbl. butter
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400. Arrange florets on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 Tbl olive oil, celery salt and pepper. Toss to coat and throw that bad lad in the oven for about 30 minutes (or until caramelized).
In a small sauce pan over low heat, add remaining oil, butter and anchovies. Using a wooden spoon, mash on those 'chovies until they have dissolved into the butter and oil. Add lemon juice and parsley, give it a good stir, and pour over cauliflower.

This is a great side with grilled salmon or turkey kielbasa.

Radishes with Anchovy Butter and Arugula

1 baguette, cut into 1/2" thick slices
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
3 anchovy fillets
2 Tbl chopped parsley
black pepper to taste
8-10 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400. Brush baguette slices with olive oil and toast those suckers up on a baking sheet. About 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

While the bread is toasting away, reduce by half the vinegar over a medium heat until nice and thick. Allow to cool. Congratulations! You have just made a reduction.

In a small food processor, combine butter, anchovies, pepper, and parsley. Pulse until all ingredients are good and mixed up. Spread butter mixture over cooled crostini. Top with radish slices, arugula, and drizzle with balsamic reduction. This is a perfect little bite for a cocktail party.


  1. Oh Green Goddess Dressing, how I love thee. Thanks for the recipes. Cant wait to try them.

  2. Thanks for reading, Julie! We must hang once the bunny returns.