Sandwiched: Anchovy, Basil, and Tomato Sandwiches with Aioli


The greatest column since sliced bread.


Photographs: Marvin Gapultos

The great thing about anchovies is that a little goes a long way. Since they pack such a salty/savory wallop, the tiny tinned fish can add an extra dimension of flavor to many dishes when used in just the right amounts.

Just a few anchovy fillets, for example, can make a light sandwich incredibly satisfying. Rustic Italian bread slathered with garlic aioli and layered with fresh basil, sliced tomatoes, and a sprinkling of capers all make for a great match with anchovy fillets—almost like a Provencal BLT of sorts with the salty anchovies subbing in for the bacon, and basil in place of the lettuce.

The pungent garlic from the aioli, along with the peppery herbal bite from the basil, and sweet tang of the tomatoes helps to balance the saltiness of the anchovies and capers. And since only a few anchovy fillets are shingled into the sandwich, there's plenty of savory/umami flavor without the sandwich being overly fishy.