How to love anchovies
Seattle chef Ethan Stowell uses them in everything
When we asked Seattle chef Ethan Stowell to pick the ingredient that he relies on most in his cooking, he didn't hesitate.
"That's easy, because I named a restaurant after them: Anchovies & Olives."
The former, those tiny, briny fish, act as Stowell's nuanced substitute for every chef's crutch: salt. "We probably feature them in three dishes a week, at least," he says.
Stowell prefers the olive-oil-packed variety, because they don't require soaking like their salt-packed brethren (soaking, he warns, can lead to soggy fillets). Here, his suggestions for cooking with this complex flavor booster:
The oil: Don't even dream of discarding the olive oil that the anchovies are packed in; it is perfect for drizzling over cheese (Stowell prefers a fresh burrata) or on pizza. Try using it in a vinaigrette for a hearty kale salad, or pour it into a pan and use it to sauté greens, like spinach.
The fillets: Stowell favors the fish in pasta; in his signature dish, noodles are tossed with chopped anchovies, olive oil, chiles and mint. But we're particularly taken with his method for pulsing the anchovies with butter. Melt it in a pan to sear meat, or add it to mashed potatoes for a whack of umami.