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Entries in anchovy (8)


Marinated anchovies, Dalmatian style

 Left: anchovies in Sipanska Luka, Sipan. Right: my version at home

Following my gastronomic tour of Dubrovnik and the Elaphite Islands, I thought it would be fun to have a Dalmatian-themed week. I say Dalmatian, rather than Croatian, because like many other European countries, in Croatia each region has its own distinct culinary traditions. Wikipedia highlights that the most notable differences are between mainland and coastal regions, influenced both by history and the differences in the selection of foodstuffs. Mainland cuisine has its early roots in Slavic cookery and more recently Hungarian, Viennese and, to a lesser extent, Turkish cuisine, “while the coastal region bears the influences of the Greek, Roman and Illyrian, as well as of the later Mediterranean cuisine – Italian and French”. With regards to foodstuffs, as one might expect, Dalmatia and other coastal regions rely heavily on seafood, while hearty meat dishes are more prominent in the interior.

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Be there in five - olive tapenade

If you have ever bought this in a jar from the supermarket, then please pause for a moment before doing so next time and reconsider. It really does only take 5 minutes to make it yourself (well, 10 if you are pitting the olives) and the result is oh, so much better!

I usually make a batch of it and keep it in the fridge for sandwiches or bruschetta-style toasts, e.g. with roast tomato or Portobello mushrooms. It is great with soft white cheeses, such as goats cheese, feta or cream cheese. It also works quite well with lamb dishes, so long as you don’t use too much; it has a very strong flavour, so can overpower a dish if too much is added.

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Elizabeth David’s Piedmont roast peppers (via Delia Smith)

I have come backwards to arrive at this post; normally when writing about someone else’s recipe I would test it and then discuss how it worked. In this case I made the dish first and then went in search of the recipe. Perhaps I should explain...

Last year I went for dinner at the house of some family friends who live nearby. As the starter, Lynne served a selection of antipasti which included the most delicious roast peppers I had ever tasted; they were so good that I cannot remember any of the other antipasti, and this coming from someone who annoys people (read the boyfriend and previously the ex-boyfriend) by describing a restaurant not by where it was or what it looked like, but by what they and I each had for starters, mains and dessert.

I had made many a roast pepper in my time, but none matched up to these.

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