Anchoïade (French Anchovy Dip) Recipe

Anchoïade, a garlic and anchovy dip, is a specialty from Provence and the city of Collioure in particular, famous for its anchois. It is typically served with an assortment of raw vegetables, or spread on little toasts. When I was in Lourmarin for Easter, my aunt served a delicious anchoïade for lunch the first day, and it had the consistency of a thin mayonnaise. I have also seen anchoïades that were thicker and chunkier, a bit like tapenade, and this is what mine was like.

I made this anchoïade as an appetizer for our dinner with Derrick and Melissa on Saturday. Traditional recipes call for anchovies packed in salt, which I had never used before. They were somewhat difficult to come by, anchovies packed in oil are much easier to find, but I finally located some and soaked them overnight. The next day however, once the heads and spines were removed (which was a bit of a mess and left a nice pungent smell on my fingers), the yield was not as much as I had hoped, and I had to go out and buy more, going for the oil-marinated ones this time since I had no time to soak them. This worked fine, so unless someone has anchovy-handling tips to share, I probably won’t bother with salt-packed anchovies next time, as indicated in the recipe below.

The anchoïade was served with a bowl of assorted crudités bought fresh from the market that morning (oh, the joy of the market under the pouring rain), featuring: spring leeks and spring garlic (delicious, and almost indistinguishable from each other except for the shape of their base, straight for the leek and rounded for the garlic), sticks of young zucchini (raw zucchini is way underrated — stick to small ones and you’ll see what I mean), raw fennel, pink radishes and plum tomatoes. The choice of veggies provided a nice variety of tastes (sweet, aniseedy, sharp, peppery) to match the salty smooth anchoïade.

With this I also served grissini (Italian breadsticks) from Piemont, handmade in the traditional way and thinner that ordinary grissini, and we washed it all down with dry muscat.

Anchoïade Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serves 6.

Anchoïade Recipe

Ingredients

  • 200g (7oz) anchovies, packed in oil, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 80 to 120 ml (1/3 to 1/2 cup) olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine the anchovies and garlic in a mortar and grind them into a thick paste (alternatively, use a food processor).
  2. Transfer to a bowl, add in the vinegar, then whisk in the olive oil, a little at a time, until the mixture gets to the desired consistency -- thin or thick, depending on what you want to use it for, a dip or a spread.
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  • http://www.travelerslunchbox.com Melissa

    Hi Clotilde, lovely recipe! I had to comment because I love anchovies so much. I have also made anchoiade from both salt-packed anchovies and the traditional oil-packed variety. Gutting and removing the heads and spines from the salt-packed ones is quite a messy job, isn’t it? I found that soaking the oil-packed ones for several hours (some people say soaking in milk is better) produces a product that is almost identical, so I don’t worry anymore about what kind I use. By the way, if you’re interested in expanding your anchoiade horizons, I found a very interesting recipe for Corsican fig anchoiade that I made a few weeks ago – it’s very unusual, and very very good! If you’re interested in the recipe, here’s the link to the post: http://www.travelerslunchbox.com/journal/2005/4/3/anchovy-umami.html

  • http://noshesthoughtsreves.blogspot.com/ Lady Amalthea

    Hi, Clotilde,

    I’ve never had anchoiade before, but this sounds really great. I love fishy dips on crudites; they’re always a little unexpected, but a nice surprise.

    Also, what are “grissini” that you say you served with the anchoiade?

  • http://www.littlefancies.blogspot.com Dreska

    Can’t wait to try this. Will be delicious as an appetizer after my food shopping trips.
    Thanks.

  • Gwen

    Hi Clotilde,

    I knew anchoïade but just had the Italian version (in Piemont) this week-end and found it better. It’s called bagna couda, and it’s more of a sauce (thinner and runnier) that they serve warm with roasted or steamed veggies. I liked it better because it’s not as pungent as anchoïade, which is too anchovy-ish to my taste.

  • Kiki

    Greek groceries have salt packed anchovies [at least here in the States]. I’m sure they come from Spain or Portugal or somewhere like that. They are usually in huge tins and they pop out as many of them as you want. We typically soak them in wine vinegar before cleaning them then soak them in olive oil with chopped garlic & parsley. Yummy, especially on a crusty bread….

  • David

    I was lucky enough to find anchoiade in a small village in Languedoc. It was heaven. It resembled the bagna cauda described by Gwen though, quite runny (and I got oil stains all over my shirt but I’m a slob anyway)

  • Arend

    Oh, I had forgotten about this! My grandma used to live close to Collioure, in Ceret. It’s a little jewel of a town and we went there on occasion. I should note, perhaps, that the locals consider themselves Catalan.

  • http://www.sporky.net rebecca

    Smithsonian Magazine has a wonderful article about the “Anchovy Coast”–between L’Escala in Spain and Collioure in France. It’s worth reading if you love anchovies!

    And it certainly makes me want to take a vacation here someday! Yum!

  • Cherry Jones

    Hi,
    I have just discovered food blogs thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle Food Section I am enjoying your site very much. I wonder do you have a recipe for anchoiade salad dressing or vinaigrette? Does anyone out there?
    Thanks,
    Cherry

  • David McNutt

    Hello:

    Please try making this with roasted garlic. It marries nicely with toasted wafers.

    Dave

  • Christine

    I’ve just returned from France and had the fun of discovering a street food with farina in it. It’s cooked on a very thin cast iron pan and is very thin, charred on the edges and crispy when done. It cooks out a bright yellow color and just tastes nummy. Any idea what it’s called and if I could find a recipe?

  • Lon

    First, an update on the link provided by Rebecca. The link she gave is dead. Try “http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/homage_anchovy.html”. Second, a small correction to Gwen’s post. The Italian sauce is bagna cauda (hot bath), not bagna couda.

    The best & easiest anchovies packed in salt come from southern Italy. My favorite as Agostino Recca Anchois Salés from Sicily. The heads & guts are already removed. All you got to do is rinse off excess salt, soak for about 20-30 minutes, open like a book and strip out the skeleton. They are available from on-line purveyors.

  • http://maddogtvdinners.wordpress.com/ Mad Dog

    Very nice post!
    I had a delicious Eggs and Anchoïde at Brawn (Columbia Road, London), last week and was looking for a recipe. It’s quite normal to see anchovies packed in salt at the Boqueria market in Barcelona.

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