A question about a recipe: Grilled Steak Salad with Italian Salsa Verde

I have a question about the recipe "Grilled Steak Salad with Italian Salsa Verde " from Sarah Fioritto. Replacement for anchovy in salad dressing? I'm not keen on them!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
  • Posted by: ortolan
  • July 20, 2013


Nancy H. July 21, 2013
Leave the anchovies out--although you'll be missing a great flavor. You might have to increase the salt a bit if you don't have anchovies. But, as in most Mediterranean cooking, the salsa verde recipe is not cast in stone -- you should feel free to play around with it. Do, however, try it at least once with some high-quality anchovies just to see if that doesn't solve your problem. (And you'd be astonished at the number of times professional chefs use anchovies in preparations--and the diner is not even aware of it!)
ChefJune July 21, 2013
I've found most folks' objection to anchovies has to do more with how they look (icky) than anything else. I'm guessing you've eaten them many times and not realized they were there. Even the inexpensive, tinned ones. They're mostly there for the umami flavor they impart. I'd suggest making the salsa without them AND with them. And compare the flavor. No one will see them in the sauce, but i'll almost guarantee the salsa with them will be the better tasting.
mzmecz July 21, 2013
I have used a tiny bit of fish sauce when I find I'm out of anchovies. I would think maybe 1/8 tsp for your dressing. If you cannot stand the thought of "fish" then try Tamari for the saltiness/seasoning instead.
amysarah July 21, 2013
I'm anchovy-driven too. They add great depth of flavor, and chopped finely they melt into simmering sauces, becoming identifiable as anchovies. Having said that, for salsa verde - which is uncooked - though finely chopped, they remain more discernible...I love them in there (my 'go-to' is the River Cafe's Salsa Verde recipe,) but there are also many versions of salsa verde and some don't even call for anchovies. It's so full of other lively flavors that I think you could do a fine one without including them if that's your preference.
amysarah July 21, 2013
oops...meant to type: '...into simmering sauces, becoming UNidentifiable as anchovies.' Where's that elusive edit button? We SO need one.
Maedl July 21, 2013
I agree with everyone in the pro-anchovy camp. If you are basing your dislike of anchovies solely on eating them on their own, you most likely have a false impression. I use anchovies in sauces and dressings and wouldn't be without a jar in the refrigerator at all times. I can't tell you how many times guests have eaten something containing anchovies, raved about how delicious it is, and then asserted that they hate anchovies.
marialissio July 21, 2013
My own family had always eaten anchovies because we were Italian and could not imagine life without quality anchovies. My husband's mother was Irish-American and she found anchovies in her diet in any form a stretch to start with. Thankfully she had a mother-in-law who took her lovingly under her wing and led her through the family's cooking repertoire. Please don't give up on anchovies, As Pierino says, one needs to find the finest available (they will be imported from either Spain or Italy) and use them judiciously in cooking. I love lamb slowly roasted with mixed anchovy, garlic and fresh diced rosemary pushed into slits in the flesh. The anchovies dissolve into the meat as it cooks. You will never taste it but oh how it adds to the flavor of the finished roasted meat. It's exquisite.

Voted the Best Reply!

susan G. July 20, 2013
thirschfeld makes his Salsa Verde without anchovies: http://food52.com/recipes/22353-italian-salsa-verde.
You could either use his recipe for the sauce or adapt the recipe you saw.
pierino July 20, 2013
Unfortunately one of the reasons many Americans are "not keen" on anchovies is that they've only tasted super salty, tinned "pizza anchovies", usually imported from Morocco. Good quality anchovies might change your mind. Although I wouldn't use them in salsa verde pickeled white anchovies---boquerones---are delicious.
beejay45 July 20, 2013
You won't really taste the anchovies in something like this. They just give it a bit more depth and umami. You might try subbing in some miso if you're really dead set against the anchovies.
Recommended by Food52