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Warm Eggplant (Aubergine) and Anchovy Salad (Ensalada Templada de Berenjenas y Anchoas)


Use small egplants in this warm tapas recipe.

Look for small eggplants to use in this recipe, not the ones generally used in eggplant Parmesan.

Warm Eggplant (Aubergine) and Anchovy Salad (Ensalada Templada de Berenjenas y Anchoas)

3 eggplants (see note)
1 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and crush
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Peel the eggplants – although this dish is delicious if they are not peeled – then cut them into slices about ¾ inch thick, sprinkle with salt and place in a colander. Leave for 1 hour to draw out the juices, the rinse off the salt and pat dry.

Heat the oil in 1 or 2 skillets or frying pans over low heat and arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer so they have plenty of room. Cover and cook, turning once, for 20 minutes, or until the eggplants are tender and softened. Drain off nearly all the oil, leaving just enough to prevent the slices from sticking. Sprinkle the garlic, parsley and salt over them.

Mix the anchovies with the lemon juice and season with a little pepper. Pour this over the eggplants, covering them evenly, and serve.

Note: Don’t look for the large eggplants often used in eggplant Parmesan. Look for smaller eggplants, about 8 inches in length and 3-4 inches in diameter.

Makes 4-6 servings.

From “The Book of Tapas” by Simone and Inés Ortega

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Wild Mushroom and Anchovy Fricassee (Fricasse de Setas con Anchoas)


Use oyster mushrooms or a combination in this tapas recipe.

This tapas recipe gets a kick from garlic mixed with anchovies into a paste.

Wild Mushroom and Anchovy Fricassee (Fricasse de Setas con Anchoas)

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 ¼ pounds porcini or other wild mushrooms, cleaned and cut into large pieces
12 canned anchovy fillets, drained
2 cloves garlic
1 cup stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a flameproof earthenware casserole or a large skillet or frying pan, add the mushrooms and pan-fry over low heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the anchovies and garlic in a large mortar and crush them to a paste.

Stir the stock and the contents of the mortar into the mushrooms and season with pepper. Cover the pan and let simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the parsley into the pan, re-cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve hot, either in a serving dish or on small plates.

Makes 4 servings.

From “The Book of Tapas” by Simone and Inés Ortega

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Give Your Appetizers an Added Richness with Anchovies


You never know who the anchovy lovers will be.

“Tapas originated in Andalusia, southern Spain, but they are now common all over the country,” Inés Ortega writes in “The Book of Tapas” (Phaidon, $39.95). “Originally a small, free tapa was served with drinks in bars, and it was often a piece of sliced cold meat such as cured ham or chorizo, or a piece of cheese. According to culinary legend, these tapas were used to cover wine glasses to keep the aroma in and to keep the flies and insects out. The word ‘tapa’ originally meant ‘cover,’ a reference to this practice. Nowadays, however, tapas can also be small portions of any of the dishes that make up Spain’s wide and varied cuisine. For example, it is common to find paella being served in small portions as a tapa.”

Tapas, or small plates, are now served worldwide. But the versions you find in Spain still set the standard. One ingredient that you’ll find in many tapas is anchoas, or anchovies, which are used in numerous ways. Some of the recipes that the mother-daughter team of Simone and Inés Ortega use in this book call for fresh anchovies, others call for salt-cured. The recipes linked below all call for canned anchovies, the easiest version to find on our shores. In each of these, the fishes are used to add a richness of flavor to sauces or dressings and won’t be as noticeable as the main ingredients, such as figs or eggplant.

There is always someone vocal in opposition to these salty little treats, but also be aware that there’s at least one anchovy lover in most every bunch. I put out at least one tin’s worth at every party I throw, and the dish never fails to be clean by the end of the party.

If the salt or the oil from the tinning is too much for you, rinse the anchovies in gently running water and dab dry with a paper towel.

Hard-boiled Eggs with Anchovies and Mayonnaise (Huevos Duros Rellenos de Anchoas y Mayonesa)

Fig, Anchovy and Cheese Tapa (Tapa de Higos, Anchoas y Queso)

Warm Eggplant (Aubergine) and Anchovy Salad (Ensalada Templada de Berenjenas y Anchoas)

Wild Mushroom and Anchovy Fricassee (Fricasse de Setas con Anchoas)

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Hard-boiled Eggs with Anchovies and Mayonnaise (Huevos Duros Rellenos de Anchoas y Mayonesa)


Anchovies add richness to deviled eggs.

Give your deviled eggs a savory makeover.

Hard-boiled Eggs with Anchovies and Mayonnaise (Huevos Duros Rellenos de Anchoas y Mayonesa)

9 eggs
1 ounce canned anchovies in oil, drained and chopped
¼ cup mayonnaise, or more, to taste
1 generous teaspoon stone-ground mustard
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Parsley sprigs or watercress, to garnish

To boil the eggs, pour enough water to cover them into a large pan, add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Add the eggs carefully and stir gently with a wooden spoon so that when they set, the yolks will be in the center. Cook medium-sized eggs for 12 minutes. (Add 1 minute for bigger eggs and subtract 1 minute for smaller eggs.) Drain off the hot water, fill the pan with cold water and leave the eggs until required.

When the eggs are cool enough to handle, shell and halve them lengthwise, then scoop out the yolks with a teaspoon, without piercing the whites.

Mix the anchovies, mayonnaise and mustard with the egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper, but remember the anchovies will be salty. Using a teaspoon, fill the egg white halves with the anchovy mixture and place in a serving dish. Garnish the serving with sprigs of parsley or watercress and chill in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours. (Any longer and the mayonnaise will become dry.)

Makes 18 deviled eggs.

Adapted from “The Book of Tapas” by Simone and Inés Ortega

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Fig, Anchovy and Cheese Tapa (Tapa de Higos, Anchoas y Queso)


Fresh figs and goat cheese make for a simple yet flavorful tapa.

You can make the cheese spread ahead of time, but have it at room temperature so you can spread it easy on the just-toasted bread.

Fig, Anchovy and Cheese Tapa (Tapa de Higos, Anchoas y Queso)

3 canned anchovy fillets, drained
½ clove garlic
3 ½ ounces goat cheese
2 slices thick country-style bread, quartered
Olive or sunflower oil
9 ounces figs, peeled and coarsely chopped

Preheat the broiler to high. Pound the anchovies, garlic and cheese with a pestle in a large mortar, or process briefly in a blender, until well blended, then set aside.

Toast the bread slices for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Brush each with oil on one side, then spread with the anchovy mixture and top with pieces of fig. Serve immediately or the toast will become soggy.

Makes 4 servings.

From “The Book of Tapas” by Simone and Inés Ortega

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