Sunday, December 18, 2011

Getting over that childhood thing about anchovies

I love anchovies. I love them fresh, I love them packed in oil and I love them packed in salt. Oh, and I love them smoked (try those if you can find them: they come from Spain in cans).

But I’ve never much liked them on pizza. Or so I thought. When we were having pizza the other night and Jackie requested anchovies, I thought about my aversion and realized that it was based on a bad experience as a teenager, so I topped one of the two little pies with anchovies. Generously. Half with mozzarella, half without. These were salt-packed anchovies, which I soaked in water for a while, then boned, dried and dressed with olive oil before arranging them on the pizza.

I loved it, of course. Who wouldn’t? If you’re now grown up, at least chronologically, but harbor bad feelings toward anchovies because of the enormities committed by some grim slice-shop around the corner from where you lived as a kid, give them another whirl.

The other pizza was made with ’nduja, pinched off into pea-sized globs and sprinkled all over the pie before the mozzarella went on. Yes, my pathetic oven gets up to a mere 500 degrees F – 260 C – so I need to bake pizzas for a while before the mozzarella goes on to make sure the crust is crisp before the cheese burns. ’Nduja pizza is a stunner.

Try both.

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