Salted anchovies

IMG_1349Salted anchovies have been a recent joy in my winter salad dressings. Chopped or mashed – depending on how soft they are – and mixed simply with good olive oil and white wine vinegar (or more robustly with a little dijon mustard, and red wine or walnut vinegar), this is a regal dressing for any crisp leaf like winter chicory, romaine or little gem lettuce. You could use canned anchovies in oil, though they are far less subtle than the ones preserved by salting, so you’d need to use a far smaller amount.

In an end of year clear-out I was lucky enough to find in my cupboard a jar of anchovies I salted myself while staying at a friend’s house in the Provencal hills. A happy afternoon buying sparkling fresh anchovies at the market in nearby Vence followed by a few hours in the shade cleaning then layering them with salt in heavy, tightly sealable le Parfait jars, and there they were: an affordable luxury to last me though the winter – or even two winters, given my store-cupboard management!

There’s no need for a recipe. You’ll simply need a big bag of sea salt (I used gris de sel as that was what was available in the local supermarket, but whichever rough salt is least expensive will work); however many of the freshest anchovies you can obtain; a sharp knife; and enough jars to hold them once gutted and filleted.

Step by step:

IMG_1072 IMG_1070 IMG_1071 IMG_1066
1. Fillet and clean the anchovies, discarding the bones, heads, tails and guts.

IMG_1073 IMG_1078
2. Wipe them clean, using a little water to rinse if necessary, and set aside to dry off.

IMG_1080 IMG_1081 IMG_1097 IMG_1099
3. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt in the bottom of the jar, and lay a neat layer of anchovy fillets on top. Sprinkle another layer of salt followed by another layer of anchovies laid cross-wise to the previous layer, continuing until the jar is full and finishing with a thin layer of salt.

4. Tap the jar to level everything off, seal, and store in a dark cool cupboard.
Keep for at least 2-3 months before use and store in the refrigerator after opening.

Make a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.