This may simply be one of the healthiest meals you will ever eat. There is not one ingredient in this recipe that is not good for you. Everything in this dish will not only benefit your body but will make your taste buds happy too! Starting with the anchovies, which are an excellent source of the hard to find omega-3 fatty acids that may protect from stroke and from inflammation, and they are also a healthy source of protein. The anchovies are blended with a mixture of onions, garlic, oregano and olive oil. All these ingredients are excellent sources of antioxidants while the olive oil gives us an additional boost of the good monounsaturated fats that can help lower bad cholesterol.
With all this discussion about whether the moderate fat Mediterranean diet is better then a low fat diet, I will note that this is not a low fat dish. Over 50% of calories come from fat. But before you start panicking, let’s see what that fat is. Most of the fat in this meal is from the good polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids and the monounsaturated fats of the olive oil. So let’s see…what would you prefer to eat? Rich fatty fish full of good fats along with tasty vegetables cooked in olive oil, or a boring chicken breast along with some vegetables with a bit of vinaigrette? I know I would prefer the anchovy meal, not only is it tastier but as research is showing, it may be even better for your heart.
Now, this recipe needs fresh (or frozen could work) anchovies and you could probably use sardines as well. If you are lucky you can get the anchovy gutted at the store. I have had times where this was not the case, so I will explain how you do it. It is simple and quick but just a bit messy. I basically use a small pairing knife making a small cut below the head and then pulling it off the rest of the body. When you pull off the head, usually all the guts come out with it. You should be able to do this all with one quick movement. Rinse the fish with a bit of water and you are done. You may choose to remove the bone but I find it time consuming and unnecessary because the bones comes off really easy once it is cooked. I also cut off the tails with kitchen scissors.
Greek Style Roasted Anchovies
- 2 pounds fresh or frozen anchovies
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 4-5 garlic cloves chopped
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tomato cut in round slices
1. Preheat oven at 350 Fahrenheit (180 Celsius)
2. In a bowl mix all the ingredients except the tomatoes and anchovies and let it sit
3. Clean the anchovies, add a bit of salt and pepper and place in a pan.
4. Pour the sauce over the anchovies making sure all anchovies have been covered with the sauce. Place on top the sliced tomato.
5. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, be careful not to overcook.
6. Remove and serve.
You can accompany this with a simple potato salad or just good bread.