Monday, January 7, 2008


You're probably thinking eeewww, gross (unless you're my dad, and then you're beaming with pride) but I assure you, you're mistaken. You only think you don't like anchovies. But secretly, anchovies are delicious. And you will like them after you try this salad dressing.

I avoided anchovies for most of my life. My dad used to bring them on our backpacking trips when I was a kid and then finish off a whole tin by the fire at night. Then he would throw the tin in the fire so that all the oil could cook off and we'd bring the tin home with us to throw away. Gross, I thought.

But I do love a good Caesar salad and only lately realized that there are anchovies in Caesar dressing. That made me reconsider. Then, my old roommate and dear friend S Baum, who is all sorts of picky about taste and texture and type of food, came home after eating this anchovy dressing at a friend's house and said it was delicious. Hmmm.

So I tried this dressing myself and oh man is it good. I was fearful pouring the whole tin of anchovies into my food processor, but the blend of oils and other seasonings mellows out the taste of the little fish without muting it altogether.

This is also an incredibly nutritious combination of ingredients. Both flax seed oil and anchovies are rich on Omega 3 fatty acids, something that western diets tend to lack. Among other things, Omega 3s help reduce inflammation in the body. So, if you're like me and have a bum shoulder or some other sort of joint problem that tends to get inflamed and irritated, Omega 3s are a great addition to your diet.

The dressing is a filling and substantial addition to a salad. It's high in protein, so it stays with you for a while. I've only used it on simple, two to three ingredient salads, but I think it would also be good on more complex salads. Just keep everything savory and don't add anything else too rich (i.e. fruit and rich cheeses).

This recipe is adapted from Nourishing Traditions, my delicious/informative/scary cookbook.

1 tin anchovies packed in olive oil
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon expeller pressed flax seed oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon Dijon-type mustard
1/4 cup raw wine vinegar*
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients in food processor* and blend until smooth.

*I don't know exactly what raw wine vinegar is or where to get it, so I just use red wine vinegar. I use a bit less than the recipe calls for, probably 3/4 of 1/4 cup. And sometimes I up the lemon juice to compensate because I love lemon.

*If you don't have a food processor you should get one. But in the mean time I think the blender would work fine. Just add a little hot water if the dressing is too thick.

No comments: