The praise of simplicity: the snow-white colour of butter, the savoury and frank flavour of anchovies, the joyful vivacity of a caper. There are no more ingredients in this recipe that comes directly from my childhood.
Bread with butter and anchovies is a dish that has entered into our family lately, as in my Grandma family there is no trace of it. She probably learned to make it because someone told her about it, or because she read of it in a cookery book or in a magazine. Since then, once in a while, they pop up for a quick break in the afternoon or for a potluck lunch when we have unattended guests.
They are perfect as the butter cherishes your palate while the anchovy tickles your appetite.
Bread, butter and anchovies
They remind me of a summer afternoon: it was August, balm-crickets were singing aloud their monotonous tune and the light was white and blinding. My dad was filling the car boot and fastening our bikes over the car, ready to go to the seaside. I was waiting under the linden shadow, tantalized by its sweet smell and cradled by balm-crickets song My Grandma came out of the kitchen door with a plate filled with bread spread with butter and anchovies: such an unusual afternoon break! It was due to the fact that long car drives have always made me sick, so I needed something salty to hold my stomach!
Notwithstanding this summer memory, I suggest you these appetizers also for your Christmas day: easy, quick, no cooking at all! Just one piece of advice: use quality ingredients, because there are no tricks nor deceits!
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- sliced Tuscan bread
- unsalted butter
- anchovies, in oil or salted
- pickles baby capers
- Slice bread into 1cm thick slices: you can toast them or use them as they are. I prefer a soft bread to exalt butter softness. Spread butter with generosity over the bread.
- If you want to use salted anchovies, rinse them under running water to remove extra salt and divide them into fillets, removing all the bones. If you use anchovies in oil, just make two fillets out of them and lay them over buttered bread.
- And now, the final touch: a pickled baby caper in the centre, and - in less than 3 minutes - you have an unusual afternoon break or a fun anti-crisis and anti-panic appetizer for Christmas.