Pimientos and Anchovies, A Recipe for World Peace
That’s the title you get this morning. Yes, ‘m feeling hyperbolic. Because this is one of my favorite salivatingly delicious appetizer dishes.
Pimientos and Anchovies are a classic Tapas in Spain. They are classic appetizers in Italy. And in the USA I always order it when I see it on a menu. When i eat it, I feel global: rooted in Mexico, sailing to Italy, Spain and landing in a thankful palate. I’m just saying its nice that so many countries enjoy the same dish.
The bell pepper chile (1) is native to Mexico and was taken to Spain and Italy by Columbus. Because its flavor is mild, the attractive chile quickly became popular in Europe. Besides, it was easy to cultivate. In Mexico anchovies are called anchoas and are similar to Charales or Boquetones. Pictured below are dried Charrales.
Recipe (serves 4)
2 pimientos (aka red bell peppers)
4 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, sliced
2 Tbs Capers
1/4 tsp Salt
1 small tin anchovies
1. In a pre-heated 4000 F, roast the pimientos for about 25 minutes or until they get nicely charred
2. Remove from the oven and cover with a heavy cloth. The steam will help peel off the skin later when they cool.
3. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and all the seeds. Use the edge of a knife to lightly scrape as needed.
4. In a sauté pan add the olive oil and the sliced garlic and heat through. Then add the pimientos, salt, and heat for about 5 minutes to allow the garlic flavor to soak in a bit.
5. Let the pimientos cool down and then you can hold them in the fridge for several days if you’ll be serving them later.
6. As you see in the pic, place slices of the pimientos on a plate including the olive oil, then lay some of the anchovies on top. Sprinkle with capers and serve immediately. I don’t add the sliced garlic to the plate but you can if you like.
(1)Both the Pimiento chile, and the “bell pepper” chile are native to Mexico. The difference between the two and why they are called pepper and not chile is a subject for another blog. The beauty and also the downside of globalization.
Dried Mexican Charrales