Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Crudites with Anchoiade

I'm sitting in my central London flat huddled over my laptop, wistfully looking out at the sunny morning (although in full knowledge that while the day looks deceptively warm and summery, the fact that I am necessarily sitting in copious layers of poly-viscose tells me that it is bloody freezing out there) and wishing I was back on my summer holiday in Nice on the French Riviera.

So, there's only one thing for it: No. Not giving up my life in England to become a street artist in Provence. I'll make some summery grub.

For some reason, anchoiade and crudites seems like something that you should only eat when you're on a patio overlooking the Med, while drinking a long-stemmed glass of local rose and surreptitiously ogling French strumpet. But no! I made I made some this weekend while sitting in my draughty London apartment, drinking a long-stemmed glass of non-local rose and overtly ogling my own strumpet. And it was (almost) as good.

Anchoiade is a fairly punchy dip, made with tinned anchovies, a fair amount of garlic (not too much - I'm not actually French), a dash of vinaigrette ingredients and a handful of fresh parsley from the old window box. Terrific. Just pair it with some vibrantly colourful raw vegetables or even crusty bread, and in no time, you'll be back on your summer hols with nothing to worry about, except for a bit of garlic breath and a slight mid-afternoon hangover. Truly lovely.

No kidding, though; try this dip, it is absolutely my newest favourite thing in the whole wide world. I made it for the first time this week, and I have resolved to make it again at the earliest opportunity.

A 70g tin of excellent quality anchovy fillets are 79p at Waitrose, which means that including the lovely vegetables, this dish comes in at a very reasonable £1.50 per serving, for a super duper starter, snack with drinks, or weekend treat. Ooh-la-la, as some would say (not me).

Serves 4



6 tinned anchovy fillets, oil drained
1 fat clove of garlic, centre stem removed
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
Fresh black pepper

Fresh, raw salad vegetables, cut into two-bite-sized chunks, for dipping

In a pestle and mortar, crush together the anchovy fillets and garlic until you have a smooth paste. Add the red vinegar and olive oil until you have a smooth emulsion. Set aside until needed, to allow the flavours to intermingle and develop. Serve with the crudites.

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