Ever since Sue from Couscous and Consciousness made this anchoïade (garlicky anchovy spread) from Diana Henry's Salt Sugar Smoke, I have been wanting to try it. I will say that although I truly love the flavor that anchovies bring to a dish, I really don't like looking at the little hairy beasties--so any chance I can get to mash them up into something unrecognizable like this dip/spread--it works for me. ;-)
I made a few small changes to the recipe--mainly using caramelized garlic (I "roasted' up a bunch using the slow cooker and had some leftover from this fabulous soup, and I used extra garlic since mine was roasted and mellower). I used my favorite marcona almonds and upped the amounts of lemon and parsley a bit. The result is a flavorful spread for bread and veggies and perfect for any holiday appetizer plate. I recommend that if you have anchovy 'haters' in the house--you cheat and call it 'garlicky almond dip' and they probably won't guess the ingredients. ;-)
Diana Henry says, "Another classic Provençal "paste." If you like anchovies, it's completely addictive. You can go traditional and pound everything together with a mortar and pestle, or use a food processor. It's very satisfying to watch the anchovies "melt" into a paste."
Adapted from Salt Sugar Smoke by Diana Henry
(Makes About 1 cup)
2 (2 oz) cans anchovies in oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped (I used 6 cloves caramelized garlic)
1/3 cup blanched almonds, toasted (I used roasted Marcona almonds)
2 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
(I used about 3 Tbsp)
finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
(I used a full lemon)
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil--about 1/4 to 1/3 cup
Drain the anchovies, reserving the oil. Place everything except the anchovy oil and olive into a blender or into food processor, or crush it all in a mortar and pestle (especially if you prefer a chunkier mixture). Process until well crushed.
Measure the anchovy oil and add enough olive oil to make it up to about 2/3 cup. Reserve about 3 tablespoons, and slowly add the remaining oil to the anchovy mixture to make a paste. (I kept the food processor running while I added the oil.)
Put the anchoïade into sterilized jars and spoon a layer of the reserved oil on top. Seal jars and keep in the refrigerator--it will keep for about two weeks.
How to Use: Henry says, "This is wonderful on little toasted croûtes with drinks, or serve it with tapenade, radishes, hard-boiled eggs and bread for a very simple appetizer."
Henry also mentioned that were different types of anchoïade including one made just of anchovies and olive oil that was sometimes used as a sauce for fish. Sounded like a good idea to me so I tried this version on seared ahi. It was excellent--tangy and garlicky so it set off the richness of the ahi nicely.
Notes/Results: So rich, savory, and so tasty--I would describe it as assertive and pungent in a good way with a big burst of flavor. It's not overtly "fishy" so I don't think you would have to be an anchovy fan to enjoy it. I grouped together croûtes of toasted baguette, hard-boiled eggs and a bunch of raw veggies--baby carrots, mini cucumber, sugar snap peas, quarters of plump red radishes and strips of red bell pepper. I also had some Brussels sprouts in my fridge and thought it would be fun to grill them a bit, so I did along with some slices of zucchini. My favorite dippers (besides the toasted bread), the Brussels sprouts and radishes for their slight bitterness, and the sweetness of the sugar snap peas both of which partnered well with the dip. This dip does tend to separate a bit so if you make it ahead of time, a quick run through the blender before serving works well. I will make this again.
This post is linked up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where the theme this week is Party Pleasers. You can see what pleasing dishes everyone is bringing to the party by checking out the picture links on the post.