What They Are
Although small in size, these little fish add big flavor to plenty of dishes. They can be a polarizing ingredient; if you think you're not a fan, give anchovies another chance! They may be known for their distinctive, salty kick, but anchovies can also be a subtle flavor-enhancer if used sparingly. They contribute umami -- the fifth, savory taste, along with bitter, sweet, salty, and sour -- which makes them an ideal secret ingredient for rich, delicious meals.
Buying and Storing
Anchovies are commonly found in small tins or jars; look for them in the canned-food aisle alongside the tuna, salmon, and sardines. Unopened, a tin of anchovies will last about a year. Once opened, refrigerate the fillets in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
How to Use Them
People who are already anchovy enthusiasts may enjoy the fish tossed into salads, laid on pizza or toast, or rolled around an olive or a cube of cheese. Even picky eaters, or those who think they're anchovy-averse, will appreciate the depth anchovies can add to food without tasting a bit fishy. Try chopping up a just few fillets to stir into sauces, dressings, and dips -- their bold flavor will mellow and the results will be mouthwatering.
The 14 to 16 fillets in these dishes seem like a lot but yield just 3 tablespoons -- enough to add rich, subtle flavor.