I don’t like pineapple on pizza. I think it’s an abomination, and a waste of perfectly good pineapple. But what do I know, I like anchovies. So for part of my Feast of the Seven Fishes, here comes some ‘chovie right at you.
Yeah, they’re salty. They’re packed in olive oil with salt added to the mix. So yes, there’s a definite salt-forward thing happening here. I’ve had saltier ‘chovies, but these are firmly in the OG section of tin-packed anchovies. So don’t try to eat these fillets plain, unless you’re a masochist. Still, for pizza-fish lovers like me, opening this tin was like heaven. A salty, smokey, salmon-esque scent wafted up, luring me to all sorts of fishy mischief. I like mischief.
How to eat ‘em, if simply plopping ‘em onto something isn’t wowing you? What you should do, should you accept the challenge, is mix ‘em into things. Don’t slap a wee fillet onto a piece of pizza. That’s kindergarten. Go plop some of those fillets into a heated pan, stir gently, and let them “melt” into a tasty liquid paste. Then sprinkle that on your pizza, or better yet? Stir it into the sauce you’re gonna top your homemade pizza with. Or if you’ve ordered out, stir this delightful nectar into a pesto or marinara dipping sauce. It’ll give you a lovely bit of umami without being overwhelming.
Or try this with your next Salad Nicoise. If you can’t get fresh anchovy fillets – and you really should seek those out, they’re amazing (and nowhere near as salty as their brined cousins) – just stir some “melted” anchovy fillets to your salad dressing. That way you get a taste of ‘chovie in every bite.
Me? I enjoy dumping a tin of anchovies into a pan with their oil (oh please don’t pitch the oil, it’s so delicious), adding some finely diced tomatoes (canned or fresh, your choice) and kidney beans. Serve on pasta, and sprinkle on a bit of freshly julienned basil or parsley. If looking for a more hard-core fish flavor, why not dice ‘em and add to deviled eggs? Just a few fillets will do ya, and some diced fresh quick-pickled cuke makes a wonderful add-in to give the eggs a bit of fresh crunch with that umami.
With only three ingredients – fish, oil and salt – DeLallo’s ‘chovies are a great way to get your umami fix. Or if you haven’t drummed up the courage to try pizza-fish, they’re a good place to start. Just make sure to mix them into things, or dice them up. Bon Fish-é-tit!