Small fry: you can do it
For the smallest fish in the pond, the anchovy and sardine punch well above their weight in the flavour stakes, says NZ House & Garden’s Sally Butters.
Crostini with white beans, sardines & dukkah
This flavoursome combination makes a fabulous snack or starter – sardines on toast never tasted so good. We used Andre’s Kitchen garlic crostini (from Farro Fresh) but you could use another brand, or make your own by brushing slices of baguette with garlicky olive oil and baking them until golden.
330g can white cannellini beans,
drained and rinsed
1 small lemon
Generous pinch flaky sea salt and
Small bunch flat-leaf parsley,
About 12 garlic-flavoured crostini
100g can good-quality sardines 6 heaped tsp dukkah
Small bunch fresh thyme Good-quality extra virgin olive oil
Place beans in a small mixing bowl and mash gently with a fork. Add the zest from the whole lemon and the juice from half of it, along with the salt, pepper and parsley. Mix well with the fork, and taste and adjust as necessary.
Spread bean mixture over crostini. Drain sardines a little and arrange chunks on top of bean mixture. Sprinkle dukkah over and garnish with a few sprigs of thyme. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Makes about 12
Spring salad with anchovy & egg dressing
This salad is a little bit like a Caesar, although there is some disagreement whether Caesar Cardini’s original dressing contained anchovies at all.
Al dente vegetables add freshness and contrast to the salty anchovies and soft-poached eggs mingle nicely with the dressing. This salad looks pretty arranged on a platter.
6 anchovy fillets, drained 1 large garlic clove, crushed 2 tbsp lemon juice Splash of Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 tsp smooth mild mustard
1⁄2 cup fruity olive oil
12 baby carrots, topped and tailed 12 asparagus spears, trimmed 1 cup green beans, topped
2 cups cos lettuce leaves, washed 1 iceberg lettuce heart
4 eggs, lightly poached (yolks
should be soft) Dressing: Mash anchovies with the side of a heavy-bladed knife. Combine with garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire and mustard in a large bowl. Whisk in oil gradually until dressing is creamy and emulsified.
Salad: Steam carrots, asparagus and beans until just al dente then plunge into cold water to cool. Dry thoroughly.
Tear cos into bite-sized pieces. Chop iceberg lettuce into chunks. Turn lettuce gently in dressing and arrange on a pretty platter. Arrange vegetables and eggs on top. Spoon dressing over. Serve at once.
Recipes: Janet Dunn, Delaney Mes Styling: Kate Arbuthnot, Claudia Kozub, Jo Wilcox Photographs: Charlie Smith, Manja Wachsmuth
This variation of the classic Piedmontese dish vitello tonnato (made with veal rather than turkey) can be just the thing to whip up for a quick lunch dish for unexpected guests. Serve it with a green salad and crunchy French bread and you’ll knock their socks off. If you can’t get hold of turkey breast, smoked chicken breast is a delicious alternative.
6 anchovy fillets
185g can tuna in brine, drained 1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp capers
1 tbsp lemon juice
11⁄4 cups mayonnaise 250-300g thinly sliced turkey breast Lemon slices, capers, microgreens
and chopped parsley to serve
Process anchovies, tuna, oil, capers and lemon juice until smooth. Add mayonnaise and blend to combine.
On a platter, spread a layer of mayonnaise mixture. Top with overlapping turkey slices. Repeat and top with mayonnaise. Decorate with lemon, capers, microgreens and chopped parsley.
Clockwise from main photo: crostini with white beans, sardines & dukkah; turkey tonnato; and spring salad with anchovy & egg dressing.