We’re huge fans of anchovies around here. They’re the unsung heroes of your favorite condiments and sauces, adding just the right amount of briny, umami funk that we just can’t get enough of.
So, if you went the extra mile and whipped up your own Caesar dressing from scratch, we applaud you! But unless you were making salad for a crowd (and a large one at that), chances are you’ve got a whole tin of anchovies and oil leftover. Not sure how to put it to good use? You’ve got a lot of options.
Keep Them for Later: How to Store Anchovies
It’s surprisingly easy to store opened anchovies. An unopened can will be good for at least 1 year if it’s stored at room temperature, and according to The New Food Lover’s Companion, once that can is open, you can refrigerate them for up to 2 months if you keep the fish in oil and in an airtight container. If the leftover oil from the can isn’t enough to completely submerge the anchovies, you may need to top it off with some of your own olive oil so the exposed fish doesn’t spoil. Your best bet is to transfer the fish into a new container (a small glass jar is ideal) instead of keeping it in the can—it’ll be the best way to prevent that metallic taste from messing with the flavor.
Add Oomph to Your Favorite Pasta
What separates a good tomato sauce from a great one? We would argue anchovies. It takes what would be an otherwise mundane pasta dinner to restaurant-quality, lick-the-bowl delicious, with minimal fuss. Even if you’re just whipping up one of those end-of-the-week pastas made from whatever odds and ends are left in your fridge and pantry, anchovies can transform a boring, utilitarian meal to a dinner that feels like a special indulgence.
Build a Better Butter
If you’re a fan of the funky, umami flavor of anchovies, go ahead and blitz some softened butter, anchovies, salt, lemon zest and juice, and whatever herbs you have on hand for a seriously irresistible condiment you’ll want to smear on everything. And don’t worry—it doesn’t have an overpowering fishiness. Instead, it’s got a subtle savory flavor that takes a basic compound butter from meh to wow-worthy. Our favorite way to use it? Add a knob on top of a hot steak perfectly seared on the stovetop.
Take Your Green Goddess to the Next Level
Takes on green goddess abound, but an authentic batch of the iconic dressing isn’t complete without anchovies. They add that certain something that transforms a bunch of pureed herbs, oil, and vinegar to a dressing that makes people sit up and take notice.
Make Your Own Worcestershire Sauce
Though it takes some steeping time, homemade Worcestershire sauce is a fun project that keeps for years, and only gets better as it ages. Our recipe does not call for anchovies, but they are a must in the original Lea & Perrins formula. Drain as many anchovies as you like and add them all to the simmering sauce for an umami bomb that you’ll season countless future dishes with.
Punch Up Simple Salads
Basic salads gain a new dimension when you add a few minced anchovies. The Provencal potato salad above has so few ingredients that it would be boring without the crucial addition of anchovies. Tossed green salads, pasta salads, and bean salads can all benefit from the same treatment. A crisp and bracingly bitter Belgian endive salad meets its match with the forceful flavor of anchovy.