We all have those ingredients that ended up in our pantry and we’re not really sure what to do with them. Well, anchovies used to be one of those ingredients for me. But this week, I’m sharing a few ideas for what to make with anchovies.
At the beginning of the year, one of the things Nick and I decided we wanted to do was use pantry ingredients. The random ones, that may have seemed like a good purchase at the time, or were added to the cart on accident, but that never made it into a meal. Every week, he picks a pantry ingredient and I cook something with it.
It’s been a really fun way to use pantry ingredients, and get creative with “weird” ones. I shouldn’t say weird, I should say uncommon? Or ones I don’t typically gravitate towards when I’m making a quick meal.
Anchovies are one of those ingredients. If you aren’t familiar, anchovies are small canned fish and they’re salty in flavor.
They can typically be found in recipes such as dressings or sauces or sometimes as a pizza topping. In the past I’ve used them in green goddess dressing/dip and that recipes is always a hit.
What seems like years ago (pre-pandemic), I had just started doing a fun cookbook club with several friends. We made recipes from the Small Victories cookbook on night and one of the recipes I made was the cauliflower anchovy breadcrumbs. (I mentioned the cookbook club in this Catching Up With The Kelnhofers – I miss friends! Hi Erin and Abby).
They were SO GOOD, I’ve been telling anyone and everyone who will listen that they should “trust me and buy anchovies and make these breadcrumbs”
The anchovies disintegrate when cooking with the olive oil and garlic, and you’re left with this salty briny bread crumb mixture. I’ve tweaked the recipe a little as I’ve made it and it’s a really great recipe for those times you may be thinking “what should I make with anchovies.”
Some variations you can make the anchovy breadcrumbs:
- Instead of cauliflower, try pasta – use pasta instead of cauliflower and sprinkle pasta with anchovy breadcrumbs and a generous few pinches of parmesan cheese before serving, yum!!
- To make this recipe vegetarian-friendly, use capers!
- Sprinkle these anchovy breadcrumbs over tomato or squash soup.
- Use different vegetables instead of cauliflower: eggplant, zucchini, carrots or sweet potatoes are great alternatives.
Other recipes with anchovies:
I hope to hear that you’re cooking with anchovies in no time, and I’d love if you’d let me know in the comments – do you like recipes with anchovies?
Anchovy breadcrumbs with roasted cauliflower
This recipe for anchovy breadcrumbs will leave you wondering why you haven't been cooking with anchovies all along. Toasted to perfection, these anchovy breadcrumbs go perfectly over roasted cauliflower.Print Rate
- 1 head cauliflower cored and cut into small florets
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 8 oil-packed anchovies (one small tin) drained
- 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 Tbs finely chopped green onions or parsley optional
- Preheat oven to 425
- Put cauliflower on baking sheet, drizzle with 3 Tbs of olive oil, sprinkle with alt, and toss everything together. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender and well browned, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs olive oil. Add the garlic and anchovies and cook, stirring, until the anchovies have completely disintegrated into the oil. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until they've absorbed all of the oil and are brown and a bit crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in the paper and parsley and remove from the heat.
- Scatter the bread crumbs evenly over the cauliflower and drizzle everything with the remaining 2 Tbs olive oil. Serve immediately.