Anchovies and I have a rough past together. Since I can remember, I never liked the thought of them. Having been born near the ocean, I grew up eating fresh fish and seafood. The idea of eating fish out of a can or glass was foreign.
During one of my first trips to Italy, I was introduced to a dish I never thought I would eat. When the waiter said that my medium-rare steak came with anchovy butter I was shocked. Steak and anchovies? Canned fish with butter? What is this place?
However, I believe that you must try something at least once before condoning, therefore I decided to give it a shot.
Tasting this dish and accepting how wrong I was about it, opened my eyes to a world I had yet to discover. Anchovies are not to be seen only as fish. They carry waves of flavors and richness capable of spicing up the most boring dishes. They are a natural flavour enhancer and pair beautifully with grilled meats, or you can use a few filets to take your favourite tomato sauce to the next level.
I felt like apologizing to the anchovy community for ignoring them all these years. But instead, I decided to honor them with a crostini recipe.
I chose radishes because their freshness and tanginess are a perfect marriage with the richness of the anchovy butter.
If you know any non-believers of anchovies, enlighten them with this recipe.
Wine tip: Champagne or a crisp Pinot Grigio
Radish & Anchovy Butter Crostini
- 1 bunch of radishes
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 anchovies packed in oil, drained and minced
- 1/2 tsp. fresh chives chopped
- 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 baguette or other crusty bread sliced
In a medium bowl or mortar, combine butter, anchovies, lemon juice, chives, salt and pepper to taste. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
Thinly slice radishes or use a mandoline if you have it.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a grill pan. Add bread and toast until golden on both sides. Remove from the heat.
Add one tablespoon of anchovy butter to the toasted bread and top with sliced radishes. Feel free to overlap them for full coverage. Garnish with chives.