Love and Anchovies
Posted on June 22, 2020
I have fallen in love with many restaurant dishes in my life: the Polenta Gorgonzola at Union Square Café in New York, the Oeufs en Meurette at Café Campagne in Seattle, and The Roasted Pepper and Anchovy Bruschetta at The Reel Inn, which was located here in Point Loma, to name just a few. Sadly, The Reel Inn is no longer in business, but it was not for a lack of delicious fare, that’s for sure.
I make this preparation often and almost every time I entertain; it’s easy, great for al fresco dining, and always a hit. Those who are anchovy-opposed can always just pick them off, but man, are they missing out, because the anchovies provide a briny, earthy element of umami to the bite — a perfect match to the sweet and smoky peppers. Terryl Gavre, owner of Cafe 222 and co-owner of Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant; breadandbutterismyjam.com
Roasted Pepper and Anchovy Bruschetta
6-8 good quality anchovies, rinsed and patted dry
1 head of garlic, roasted (directions follow)
2 red bell peppers, roasted (directions follow)
1 sourdough baguette
Olive oil for drizzling
To roast the garlic:
Cut off top of head, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Bake in a 350° oven for 30-40 minutes, until soft. Once cooled, gently remove the cloves from the head.
To roast the peppers:
Place whole peppers on the barbecue over a medium flame and allow to char on each side before turning. Using a pair of tongs, continue charring and turning each pepper until entire pepper is blackened. They should be good and charred, and soft before removing from the heat. Once sufficiently charred, place them in a paper bag, close, and allow to steam for 15 minutes. Remove them from the bag. Remove the stems, and slice open to remove all of the seeds, along with some of the charred part of the outer skin, if desired. Gently and quickly rinse under cool water and pat dry on paper towels. You are just trying to remove any remaining seeds and unwanted skin. Your hands will get messy.
1. Julienne the peppers and place in small bowl along with the cloves of roasted garlic. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and drizzle with just enough olive oil to cover. Add the anchovies. Gently toss the mixture, being careful not to break up the anchovies.
2. Slice baguette, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and place over flame of barbecue until each side is gently toasted.
3. Arrange each slice with the topping, making sure that each slice gets an anchovy and some garlic. Serve at room temperature.