The Recipes Nancy Silverton Recommends Using Anchovies In - Exclusive

Anchovies might not be number one on your list of versatile ingredients, but once you start incorporating them into recipes, you'll be surprised at what you can create. Great chefs know the salty fish's potential to amp up the umami factor in plenty of dishes. Seeking advice and inspiration, we spoke with Nancy Silverton in an exclusive interview to find out how she likes to use anchovies. While there are endless options out there, when asked about the assortment of canned seafood on the market, Silverton concluded, "Anchovies really are the most superior of them all in my opinion," cementing her fondness for the ingredient.

For starters, she gave us the lowdown on her preferred variety, which is valuable information for tinned fish newbies: "My favorite anchovies are Spanish from the Cantabrian Sea — they are meaty and firm; their flavor is still what you expect from an anchovy, but without the funkiness." This quality adds to their versatility and makes them a great option if you aren't yet familiar with the flavor. While she will be featuring them at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in her deconstructed Caesar crostini with egg, leek, and anchovy, Silverton also appreciates their presence in numerous other dishes.

Beyond a classic Caesar salad

Most people's first exposure to anchovies is in Caesar salad dressing or as a pizza topping, but those certainly aren't the only uses for this ingredient. Silverton shared, "We use anchovies in our green pestos or pounded sauces (like salsa verde) that we then usually pair with fish." She also enjoys serving the tangy salsa with lamb chops for contrast. That said, pairing it with a fish-based dish is a good tip if you're beginning your anchovy journey since the fishy taste won't seem out of place.

To match the intensity, Silverton often complements the salty fish with an herbaceous note of parsley and the pungent kick of garlic and capers. Meanwhile, lemon and olive oil keep the flavors bright and the texture smoothly blended. Other herbs can be swapped in depending on the flavor profile, and you can toss in walnuts or pine nuts to create a pesto variation.

Silverton commented, "We also use anchovies to marinate our lamb." In this case, the ingredient plays up the umami element of the meat, enhancing the various flavors while infusing it with saltiness. If you're not quite ready to soak your cut of lamb in an anchovy bath, consider melting a couple of fillets as you saute onions for a ground meat pasta sauce.

Nancy Silverton will be part of the star-studded lineup at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which runs from February 22-25 in Miami, Florida.