Gavros marinatos is an original Greek appetizer or “meze”. Marinated fresh anchovies are one of the most delicious side dishes for ouzo or tsipouro. You can find fresh anchovies more or less all year round. They can be consumed fried, roasted and very often cured or marinated, a way to preserve fish for longtime. Anchovies are small fishes, excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. They accompany vegetables and beans and a simple seasonal salad with anchovies can stand out successfully.

When you find fresh anchovy, you manage to marinate it as soon as possible. Because of its small size its skin softens quickly if not marinated or cooked immediately.

Preparing anchovies in marinated way you have to remove the head, gut and spine from the fish. With scissors, you cut half way the head of the fish. Pulling off the head, guts come out as well. With scissors (or your thumb) you can cut the belly. Remove the spine and any gut remaining, then you open the fish completely. Removing the spine, you can pull off the tale but if you think it’s too fragile for you to do with hand, you can cut the tale with scissors. Rinse every fish thoroughly under cold water and place them in a pan or a pot, layering them and sprinkling them with a lot of salt, both sides of the fish. You continue this way with every layer. Let the fish aside for about 2 hours. You’ll see how the fish dries from the salt, draining its fluids.

After 2 hours, rinse very well the salt under cold water and place anchovies in a clean pan and cover them with a good quality of white wine vinegar. Let them for 8-10 hours at least out of the refrigerator. Pour over olive oil, minced garlic, mixed peppercorns and any herbs you prefer. I flavored my anchovies with fresh chervil.

After 8-10 hours, anchovies have turned white. Remove fish from vinegar and place them in an airproof container, making layers. Cover them with olive oil or any vegetable oil and flavor with garlic, peppercorn and chervil (or parsley). Maintain them in the refrigerator.

If you try anchovies after vinegar, you may think that they are too hard, but if you put them in olive oil and taste them, you are going to love them!

 

 

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