Surviving summer without cooking

To survive summer without cooking (indoors, anyway), I rely on good cheese, homegrown tomatoes and cucumbers, and my newest secret weapon–a purchased ingredient possessing magical properties of deliciousness.  Useful in tiny amounts, delicious alone or on a cracker, intensely flavorful, and tasty straight out of the refrigerator….ladies and gentlemen, I present the white anchovy (or, if you prefer the Spanish name, the boquerone).  The small fillets of pure, tangy flavor perk up almost anything in need of a savory lift.  In contrast to its darker, salt- or oil-packed cousin, the white anchovy possess a citrusy refinement, perfect in lighter fare or paired with sweeter flavors.  In the picture above, garden cherry tomatoes & Kirby cucumbers dressed with red wine vinegar, fresh basil, coarse black pepper, and sea salt are accompanied by a few boquerones, coarsely broken into small bits.  The anchovy’s sparkle transforms an ordinary summer salad into something infinitely more complex.

I’ve taken to eating a few, lined up on a plate, as an impromptu appetizer.  (Much better tasting than a fish-oil capsule any day).  Pick up some at St. James Cheese Company on Prytania Street…and start adding zip and zing to uncooked summer dishes.

4 thoughts on “Surviving summer without cooking

  1. How are these packed, if not in oil or salt? I’m assuming they’re not fresh since you found them at a cheese store.

    • I believe the ones I have are oil & vinegar packed….not sure if it’s sunflower oil or olive oil, as I only bought a portion from a larger can so I didn’t get a good look at the label. They’re not especially oily (like the jarred, dark anchovies), and the vinegar gives them a clear, clean tang. The big cans are usually in the refrigerated case at specialty shops.

  2. I’m down at St. James on 6/23 I believe for a blue cheese tasting, the first cheese tasting I’ve been to. I’ll pick up some white anchovies, thanks for the tip. Tomatoes will be plentiful by then to do some salads.

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