Radish & Anchovy Butter Crostini

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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Preparation:

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.

Assembly:

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.

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