I don't care what that darned groundhog said, Spring is in the air. At least, more colorful veggies are starting to show themselves at my farmer's market.
The almighty radish is beginning to be featured at my house. I recall a few years ago, at my sister's house in NY in the summer, that she served a simple appetizer. It consisted of sliced radishes with butter and salt on the side. The crisp astringent radish against the soft, sweet and salty butter was a revelation.
Not sure why, but I've waited these years to try and recreate this, with my own twist, of course. I decided that instead of putting the salt on the side, I'd incorporate it into the butter spread.
Anchovies were the first thing that came to mind. Unless I'm dealing with a vegan or vegetarian guest, I oftentimes sneak some anchovy paste into my cooking. It's salty and earthy and adds another level of taste that I can't seem to get using anything else. There are way too many people I know who are incredibly squeemish about anchovies. I can't figure out if it's their little fishy bodies, the smell of them, or just the strong taste when they are eaten alone. Either way, I tend not to tell my friends (or daughter) when I'm using them, unless I'm sure I'm dealing with a 'chovy lover.
Radishes, carrots, toast points and other crudites make a great vehicle for this butter spread. But, I'm thinking ahead to next week's dinner, and know that I will save some to use on a steak. It'll make it just that much better.
I encourage you to make this butter, portion it out for serving and use it on as many things as possible. Get creative and remember, don't tell your friends there are anchovies in it, or they may not eat it!
- 4 Anchovy Filets, drained of their oil
- 1 stick Butter, softened slightly
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 juice of a Lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon Capers, drained
- Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse until the mixture becomes creamy and the anchovy filets have been chopped up so small you can't even see them.
- Serve with raw vegetables, over steak or simply on toasted baguette.
- Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the anchovy butter should keep for up to a month.