A Little Fishy

Picture of anchoviesIt’s one of those things – either you love or loathe anchovies.

Many a disagreement has erupted over the inclusion (or exclusion) of anchovies on a pizza.

I love anchovies, and I can’t put it any more bluntly – I LOOOOVE them!

For me, pizza is an excuse to eat anchovies. Caesar salad is an excuse to eat anchovies. And, anchovies are an excuse to eat anchovies.

When I bite into a fishy, salty anchovy fillet, it’s as close as I can get to gastronomic heaven.

There are some important things that you need to know about anchovies.

First of all, they’re not born in tins of oil. Anchovies are a small silver fish mainly found around the Mediterranean and Southern European coastlines.

After being caught in fine mess nets, they’re filleted, cured in salt and preserved in oil.

Sometimes they’re rolled up, and sometimes canned flat. However, they can be purchased without oil (just coated in salt). Anchovies can also be purchased as a fresh fish.

Usually the more expensive anchovies from Morocco are bigger, plumper and tastier.

The cheap tinned ones can sometimes be a little average.

If you’re offended by the saltiness of anchovies, then try draining the oil and soaking the fillets in cold water for half an hour. This will make them a little more subtle.

You never know, you just might like them… or not!

Morish Olive Tapenade

Blend together 500g Kalamata olives, 2 rinsed anchovy fillets, 1 garlic clove, 2 tbsp capers, 2 fresh basil leaves, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and 2 tbsp olive oil.

Serve as a dip with crusty fresh bread.

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