Sometimes there are restaurants you go to that, as a cook, are just totally inspiring. The Whale Wins in Seattle was one of those places for us with it’s sophisticated yet straightforward food. Though there wasn’t one bad dish in the meal, their Sardine Toast stuck with us. So, of course, we wanted to recreate it in our own way and we made this White Anchovy Toast with Pickled Fennel and Apple. It’s a toast is so elegant and sophisticated it’s begging to be served at your next cocktail party where you should probably pair it with this fabulous White Wine Basque Sangria.
White Anchovy Toast With Pickled Fennel and Apple Recipe
- 1 French (aka sweet) baguette
sliced on the bias into 16 (1/4-inch) slices
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon unrefined granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche
- 1 medium fennel bulbs
fennel fronds reserved for garnish
- 1 medium Granny Smith apples
- 1 (7 marinated white anchovy filets
- Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil then arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with a few pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper then bake until golden and crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- In the meantime in a small bowl, add the vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and mix to help dissolve and set aside.
- Trim the stalks and bottom of the fennel bulb and then quarter lengthwise, keeping root in tack. Using a mandolin, slice fennel lengthwise into paper thin slices. Cut the apple off center in half avoiding the seeds and slice into paper thin slices on the mandolin. Add fennel and apples to the vinegar and toss. Allow to quick pickle while toasts are being baked, about 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix the crème fraiche with parsley and a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Once ready, evenly distribute the crème fraiche mixture on each toast. Then top with 2 anchovy fillets, and a forkful of the fennel and apple mixture. Garnish with a sprig of fennel fronds and serve.