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.
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.
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.
Enjoy the cheese & the boquerones….I finished off my last few today (as an al fresco snack, chilled).