MARINATED FRESH CURED ANCHOVIES
“Food Summer Vibes”. That line hit me really hard a few days ago. It wasn’t for the apparent reasons of warmer weather and longer, sunny days. It was when I saw the first fresh anchovies at the market. I was ecstatic. I went back home with 2 pounds of anchovies and immediately prepared them, a la Mediterranean Style: Marinated fresh cured anchovies, a traditional delicious recipe for your summer table. That being said, I cannot wait for more seasonal ingredients and glorious summer cooking. Let the fun begin!
PREP TIME: 20 mins - TOTAL TIME: 20 mins
- 1 pound very fresh anchovies
- Kosher salt
- White wine vinegar
- 1 red bell pepper, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Parsley, minced
- Hot red pepper flakes (optional)
Hold the fish with one hand and pinch right below the head. Snap it in the direction of the belly and pull down to remove the innards. Rinse it. Flat the fish by running your thumb from the headless end of the belly splitting it down to the tail. Remove the spine and the tail and slice into two fillets. OR you may keep the tail if you want a bigger fillet, the fish slit in two. Rinse the fish thoroughly and leave them to drain in a colander.
In a wide bowl or lidded food container (preferably glass) cover the bottom with salt. Lay down a layer of anchovies with the skin side down. Cover them with salt. Lay down another layer and cover with salt. Repeat with the remaining fillets and cover with salt the last layer as well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for 5-10 hours. The time depends on the size of the fillets and the saltiness you prefer. If the fillets are firm enough in 5 hours and you don’t want to be too salty, proceed to the next step.
Place the fillets in a colander and rinse thoroughly under running cold water. Place them in the same cleaned glass bowl and cover the fish with white wine vinegar. Make sure the fillets are fully submerged. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and in the fridge for 12 hours.
Drain the fillets but don’t rinse.
In a lidded glass container, pour some olive oil at the bottom and lay down the fish. Sprinkle garlic, red peppers, spring onion, parsley and cover everything in olive oil otherwise they spoil quickly.
Wait a few hours before serving. The following days they are tastier.
Serve them as a meze or appetizer or over crusted bread or jazz up pasta, salads, sandwiches, pizza, crostini.
You may speed up the procedure covering with salt (step #2) and then add vinegar as well. Keep in the fridge in a covered container for 3-5 hours and rinse thoroughly. Add the herbs and the olive oil as mentioned above (step #5).
Prep & cook time don't include curing time.