Start your meal with this nice plate: Anchovy elixir

Start your meal with this nice plate: Anchovy elixir

How to Make Anchovy elixir

Preparation time:

less than 30 mins

Cooking time:

less than 10 mins


Makes approx. 350ml/12fl oz


  • 100g/3½oz salt-packed anchovies
  • 3 fat garlic
  • 2½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 175ml/6fl oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 125ml/4fl oz cold water

To serve (optional)

  • a few heads of red chicory
  • radishes or other raw vegetables of your choice
  • 1 rump steak
  • finely chopped fresh chives


  1. It might be wisest to follow the preparation instructions on your packet of anchovies, but what I do is soak them in a dish of cold water for 5 minutes, then throw the water out, fill up again, and leave to soak for a further 5 minutes. Then rinse each anchovy under the cold tap, tearing away and discarding the tails. If you want to remove the bones, too, be my guest; you will thereby gain huge respect for those who fillet anchovies for a living.

  2. If using a bullet or other high-speed blender, put the drained anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and the water into the blender and blitz until you have a smooth sauce.

  3. If using a stick blender, put the anchovies into a bowl with the garlic and lemon juice and blitz to a paste. Still blitzing, gradually pour in a third of the oil, and when that’s absorbed, a third of the water, and carry on in this vein until both are used up.

  4. Decant into individual dipping bowls and arrange your chicory leaves or raw vegetables around it.

  5. Alternatively, fry your steak in a cast-iron frying pan over a high heat for 3 minutes on each side. Rest in kitchen foil for 5 minutes. Slice the steak thinly against the grain, transfer to a plate, dribble the elixir over it and scatter a few finely chopped chives on top. Dollop more sauce on your plate as you eat.

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