Related to the herring family, these tiny oily fish are rarely sold fresh outside Mediterranean fishing ports; their delicate flavour spoils easily, so they’re usually processed soon after being caught. Most are filleted, salted in brine and canned or packed into jars, and when preserved in this way their flavour becomes more concentrated and piquant. They make a great seasoning in pasta recipes, are delicious snipped over pizzas, and are an essential ingredient in Nicoise and Caesar salad recipes, Gentleman’s Relish and tapenade. They’re also a key flavouring in Worcestershire sauce.
Sold canned or in jars all year round.
Look for jars or cans of anchovies in olive oil or salt. If packed in salt they should be rinsed and patted dry before use.
Cans and jars of anchovies will store well in the kitchen cupboard, but once opened should be put into an airtight container, covered with olive oil and consumed within 2 days.