White Anchovies with Dates and Capers. Did you go yum or yuck? People are so funny about anchovies. And whether you love anchovies or hate them, it might come as a surprise that they weren’t born in that oily little tin can wrapped around a caper! Don’t get me wrong– I love anchovies and their big salty flavor, so reminiscent of the ocean. Whether strewn on pizza, laid across toast or used as an ingredient in other dishes, I’m a huge fan of this little fish.
Still, for many folks salt-cured anchovies are just too salty. But there are other ways to enjoy their omega-3 friendly fats. I think anchovy fishaphobes would be surprised by the mild flavor and full health benefits of white anchovies.
White anchovies start out no different than any other type of anchovy. They come fresh from the sea as bright shiny silver bullets. Once they have been gutted, they can be marinated in lemon juice and vinegar from four hours to as much as a week. The acid in the marinade “cooks” the flesh, turning it white. Hence the name white anchovy. At this point they’re stored in extra-virgin olive oil waiting for the hungry masses to scoop them up. I’ve used them here with dates and capers to make a terribly chic, sweet and salty, rich and toasty little appetizer– but they’re also just the right flash of fun served alone with a glass of wine and some crusty bread.
You can make your own white anchovies, though fresh anchovies are very seasonal and not always easy to find in most major markets. However, white anchovies also come conveniently packed in a tin. Still, like all things seafood you have be careful where your fish are sourced. My white anchovies were a gift from Wild Planet. In terms of sustainable seafood Wild Planet is a company that really walks the walk. Or should I say swims the swim? This dedication to quality and ecology is practiced across their extensive line of products. If you’re one of those thoughtful folks who nervously eyes most canned tuna wondering just what the heck is inside and where the hell it came from, then Wild Planet’s albacore tuna will change your life.
Wild Planet is committed to providing the finest tasting sustainably caught seafood while supporting the conservation of wild marine ecosystems.
- Pole and troll tuna fishing is rated as the best catch method for tuna by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, Blue Ocean Institute, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Greenpeace and other industry experts.
- Wild Planet sources tuna ONLY from pole and troll catch fisheries (which are good).
- They do not source ANY fish from long-line or purse seine fisheries (which are bad).
- They’ve been practicing these earth friendly policies SINCE way back in 2004 (which is very good).