Sunday, 6 November 2011

Valentine Warner's The Good Table

Oh the anchovy! I love them like a bat loves a moth, like a starfish loves a mussel, like a crow loves a lambs eye and a black bird loves a netted raspberry.

It has to be said our Valentine is a bit of a pervert when it comes to the anchovy. The things he does with them in the kitchen could almost make you blush but give me a cold glass of white wine, a warm baguette and a bowl of Anchoiade and I’d die a happy man.

Upsettingly for me I hadn’t heard of Anchoiade until I was sent a copy of his latest book The Good Table and it’s safe to say I’ve been making it quite a bit since. The Good Table is a cook’s cook book; all big flavours and good ingredients simply treated.

Its honest food basically, mixed in with good writing and that gentle natured bumbling Warner charm. The recipes have a very homely feel as well and even the most timid of cooks should be able to find something to try.

The photography works to highlight the simplicity of the food but is still tempting enough to draw you in, even the gratuitous shots of Valentine lounging around add to the allure. I’ll share my favourite recipe from the book so you can see what the fuss is all about!

Serves 6 as a pre-dinner snack (
or two as a lazy supper)
12 Kalamate Olives, pitted
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled
6-8 good Anchovies in oil or salt drained, or rinsed and dried
½ teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary
Dried Chilli flakes (
Valentine says optional but definitely throw them in)
1 level teaspoon Dijon Mustard
3 teaspoons of Red Wine Vinegar
4 desserts spoons extra virgin olive oil
15g butter

Put all the ingredients in a small bowl and blitz with a stick blender until totally combined. (thats it, seriously)

Serve with crusty sourdough baguette and some small beakers of rough (his words) white wine.



  1. Blimey - that sounds like a piquant, umami-rich paste of pure joy. I'd happily munch that on some sour dough till the cows come home. Like you say, it is simple and, by the sound of it, super tasty. Maybe I will have get my grubby mits on the cook book.

  2. It's a good book Aaron, I'd recommend it!