Every Thursday on the Good Food Blog we share a recipe from our archives.
Alice Waters is a chef, author and the proprietor of Chez Panisse in Berkeley. She first shared this recipe for Anchoiade with Figs on August 3, 2002.
Anchoiade with Figs
Makes 1/2 cup
8 salt-packed anchovies
2 cloves garlic
4 dried figs
2 small branches savory
2 small branches wild fennel
salt and pepper
1/4 cup walnuts
3 or 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
splash of cognac
Rinse the anchovies of any extra salt and then soak them in cool water for about 10 minutes. Carefully fillet them with your thumb and fingers, removing the fins, tails and most of the innards. Don’t worry about the tiny bones; they are very soft and will disappear in the pounding. Rinse the fillets well and dry on a paper towel.
Peel the garlic. Cut off and discard the woody part of the fig stems. Finely chop the figs. Strip off the leaves from the savory and fennel stems. Finely chop the herb leaves.
Pound the garlic, savory and fennel to a fine paste in a mortar with a bit of salt. Add the walnuts and pound to a paste. Next add the figs, pounding enthusiastically. When the figs have been incorporated in the paste, pound in the anchovy fillets, along with a drizzle of olive oil, the Cognac, and a good grinding of black pepper. Keep pounding and adding olive oil until the mixture is smooth and quite spreadable but still thick.
Fresh figs may be used. Trim and chop 5 or 6 fresh figs. Dice 1 shallot and brown it in a little olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the figs, season with salt and pepper, add the chopped savory and fennel. Cook down to a thick paste and add this to the mortar instead of the dried figs.