The following recipe for marinating anchovies is my favourite. From time to time, depending on my mood, I add some lemon zest that offers extra scent and, instead of parsley, I put some fennel. Specifically, if the fennel is wild, it gives the meze a unique character and some interesting aspects of personality. In many recipes, you can find that they add some mashed or chopped garlic, which smell is weakened though by the lemon juice. If you like it, of course, you can try it. In addition, you can play with the amount of chilli flakes or skip it completely if you are not fond of spicy food.
Last but not least. Buy the fresher and stiffer anchovy and don’t buy too much. Scouring is not so much of a deal. But if you have more than half a kilo to do, it’s not the most interesting hobby you can have, unless you consider repeating moves as psychotherapy. So keep your enthusiasm for enjoying the dish and the quantity reasonable.
Spicy marinated anchovies
Preparing: Approx. 20 minutes and at least 3 hours marinating. Wear gloves to clean the fish. Easy and quick recipe.
Ingredients (meze for 4-6 people)
300 g fresh anchovy
juice of 1.5-2 lemons
extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp chilli flakes
1-2 tbs chopped parsley (or fennel leaves)
1-2 small fresh chilli peppers (optional) cut in thin slices
To prepare the marinated anchovies: One by one, hold the fish’s head and pull it alongside its body along with the backbone. Wash it out and open it like a book.
In a bowl place the fish one next to the other season a little salt, pepper, lots of lemon juice and sprinkle with chilli flakes and parsley or fennel. Depending on the size of the bowl you can make 2 or more layers. Cover with cling and put in the fridge for 3 hours at least.
To serve: Place the marinated anchovies on a plate, drop some extra virgin Greek olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley (or fennel) and some slices of chilli peppers. Fill the glasses with ouzo or raki and yamas!