Provençal-Style Anchovy Dip

MAKES about 1½ cups: Our Provençal anchovy dip gets its velvety texture from boiled and pureed almonds.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS A Provençal favorite, anchoïade is a potently flavorful mixture of anchovies, olive oil, and garlic that can be spread on toast or used as a dip for vegetables. But many versions of this puree can be unappealingly oily or overrun with unnecessary ingredients that drown out the anchovy flavor. To make a smooth, anchovy-rich dip, we started by creating a creamy, neutral-flavored base with another ingredient typical of Provence: almonds. When boiled and pureed, the nuts took on a smooth consistency that helped to keep our dip cohesive and provided richness without being greasy. We discovered that boiling and then rinsing the blanched almonds ensured that the dip wouldn’t turn out grainy. We added the anchovy fillets to the softened almonds, along with raisins for subtle sweetness and a few savory ingredients to round out the flavor. Because extra-virgin olive oil can become bitter if overprocessed, we waited until the dip was mostly smooth before slowly drizzling in the oil. Fresh chives and a final drizzle of olive oil were all this dip needed for a refined presentation to match its sophisticated anchovy flavor. Our favorite brand of anchovies is King Oscar Anchovies—Flat Fillets in Olive Oil. Serve with Olive Oil–Sea Salt Pita Chips, slices of toasted baguette, or raw vegetables.

  • ¾ cup whole blanched almonds
  • 20 anchovy fillets (1½ ounces), rinsed, patted dry, and minced
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus extra for serving
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  1. Bring 4 cups water to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add almonds and cook until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse well.
  2. Process drained almonds, anchovies, water, raisins, lemon juice, garlic,
    mustard, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in food processor to mostly smooth paste, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With processor running, slowly add oil and process to smooth puree, about 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to bowl, stir in 2 teaspoons chives, and season with salt and extra lemon juice to taste. (Dip can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; bring to room temperature before serving.) Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon chives and drizzle with extra oil to taste before serving.

All About Anchovies Anchovies are small silver-skinned fish usually caught in warm Mediterranean waters. They’re used all over the Mediterranean but are especially popular in southern Europe, where they appear in dips, sauces, salads, soups, and more, both as a flavoring and as a main ingredient. In recipes like our Provençal-Style Anchovy Dip (left), the anchovies are the star of the recipe and provide potent, briny flavor. But when used more judiciously, the umami-producing glutamates present in anchovies can help to boost savory notes in a dish without adding fishy flavor. All preserved anchovies have been cured in salt, but they come to the market in two forms: packed in olive oil or in salt. The salt-packed variety is the least processed, having only the heads and some entrails removed, leaving the filleting and rinsing to the home cook. Oil-packed anchovies have been filleted at the factory and are ready to use. Our favorite brand is King Oscar Anchovies—Flat Fillets in Olive Oil, which have a firm, meaty texture and pleasantly briny, savory flavor