The following recipe is from the July 8 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!
Are there certain items that you see on a menu and just cannot resist ordering? For me one of those ingredients is white anchovies, they are one of my most favorite things to eat and I don't think I have ever passed them up if they are being served. White anchovies have absolutely nothing to do with those hairy brown canned filets that so many people are horrified by. Known as boquerones in Spain, they are delicately preserved in a mix of vinegar, olive oil, and salt. They are fleshy and fresh tasting and a perfect partner for a cocktail or a glass of wine.
This recipe for Fire-Roasted Peppers with Boquerones from The Barcelona Cookbook by Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer incorporates another of my must order items, crostini. Give me a toasty slice of baguette with any type of topping and I'm happy; top that slice of bread with a white anchovy or two and I'm in heaven.
You can find white anchovies in jars or Cryovac packages in most fancy food shops. To ensure that they stay tasty for a few weeks, simply drain them and repack them in a jar with some good olive oil and fresh parsley.
- 48 pieces drained boquerones
- 1 3/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced (preferably using a mandoline)
- 2 red bell peppers
- 4 scallions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (pimentón de la vera dulce)
- Kosher salt
- Twelve 1/2-inch-thick baguette slices
In a medium glass or ceramic bowl, mix together the boquerones, 1 cup of olive oil, and the garlic slices. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Rub the peppers with 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil. Lay the peppers on a baking sheet and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the side of the peppers resting on the baking sheet is wrinkled and almost black. Turn the peppers over and continue roasting for 7 to 8 minutes longer or until the peppers are nicely charred on all sides.
Transfer the peppers to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam as they cool in the bowl for about 10 minutes.
Pull the charred skin from the peppers and cut each one in half. Remove the membranes and scrape out the seeds. Slice the peppers into strips about 1/8 inch wide and transfer to the bowl with the boquerones.
In another small bowl, combine the scallions with about 3 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil. Season with the paprika and a pinch of salt. Set aside until needed or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil on both sides of the baguette slices and lay the slices on a baking sheet. Toast for 5 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Rotate the baking sheet and turn the bread slices over. Toast for about 5 minutes longer, or until crispy and honey brown.
Let the bread slices cool and then top each with about 2 tablespoons of the pepper mixture and scallions. Lay 3 boquerones on top of the peppers and serve.