an ode to anchovies

Anchovy anchovy anchovy.

Salty, briny, anchovy.

Silvery sliver.

Hangover God.



Motivator of disgust.



Instigator of terror.

Light in my life.

King of my kitchen.

Never without.

Always within.


makes enough for two as a dip (or one if you’re an anchovy fiend)

4 salted anchovy fillets

1 banana shallot

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

handful of fresh parsley

olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

– Roughly chop the anchovy fillets, shallot, garlic and parsley.

– Using a processor or hand held blender, briefly blitz the chopped ingredients together with the vinegar.

– Slowly begin to add the olive oil whilst continuing to blend the ingredients until the consistency of a thick sauce is achieved. Taste and adjust levels of anchovy, garlic, parsley or vinegar if desired.

– Pour sauce into a small pan and heat through gently.

– Season with black pepper and serve with crudites, socca or focaccia for dipping.

(The most amazingly stupendously fantastically couldn’t-be-easier-to-make no-knead focaccia recipe follows below…)


(Best prepared 24 hours in advance, though can be left to rise for a only a few hours if necessary.)

240ml warm water

7g active dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

240g strong white flour, sifted

1 tsp salt

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

3 stalks fresh rosemary, cut into 1 – 2 inch lengths

Sea salt

– In a large mixing bowl add yeast and sugar to the warm water, stir briefly to combine and leave yeast to activate. This will take approx 5 minutes. (This is the miraculous part that has me transfixed to the bowl every time in admiration of the silent explosions that occur beneath the water’s surface. Be patient, it will happen.)

– Once the ‘small explosions’ have subsided, tip in the flour, salt and 2 tbsp olive oil. Gently mix until just combined.

– Cover bowl with clingfilm and store in a cool place for approx 24 hours. Be extremely careful not to jiggle the bowl any more than absolutely necessary. Following it’s resting time the dough mix will appear risen and aerated.

– Pre-heat oven to 180C.

– Slowly tip the mixture into a baking tin – about 20cm in diameter, preferably with a removable base – evenly oiled with 2 tbsp olive oil, being careful to knock out as few air holes as possible.

– Insert the rosemary pieces evenly spaced vertically into the dough. Drizzle the top with 1 – 2 tbsps of olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt.

– Place in the oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until the top has hardened slightly and is lightly golden in colour. A skewer should come out just clean when inserted and removed from the bread and a hollow sound should be heard when its surface is tapped.

– Allow bread to cool slightly before removing from tin.

– Leave to cool a little longer (cool completely if desired / preparing in advance) before serving with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a seasoning of freshly ground black pepper to dip in. Or alongside the Anchoiade dip above!

a visual representation of just how battered and used this focaccia recipe is fast becoming

3 Responses to “an ode to anchovies”
  1. Adam Anchovy Evans says:

    I am so happy to find this page….I was searching for ‘God of Anchovies’ as I want to create one but thought I shoudl check if one existed first! I love your ode…..:)

    Adam Anchovy Evans

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] and planning travels abroad time seems to have bolted past so fast that I can’t believe my Ode was posted way back when in November […]

  2. […] I love anchovies and to have a comfortable years supply for a very modest 12 euros is very frugal. To celebrate my success I offer you a poem, originally posted at All that’s in between, you can fined the blog here. […]

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  • and all that’s in between

    loves and hates, hints and tips, observations, musings and reviews; on food, fashion, travel and art; and all that's in between...
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