saffron rice, anchovies and capers… yes, anchovies

Delicious first course if you like anchovies, I get it, their taste is strong, lots of character, condensed ocean flavor almost, I think if handled judiciously they can be an awesome weapon in your kitchen, and like anything good, best in small doses, right? The flavor of anchovies can be tamed by soaking them in water for a few hours prior to using them or just by simply using less of them. Heat will also tame their flavor slightly as it happens with garlic or onions, for example. Here is a quick recipe, reminds me of seafood paella but only in its color, the saffron and seafood notes, flavor and texture is closer to that of risotto, but I have opted to remove some starch, not too much though. I like the creaminess, but I also like the added structure in this particular case.

Takes about 30 minutes to make.
Makes 2 servings.


sauce pot
wooden or silicon spoon
scale for measuring ingredients
knife and cutting board or garlic press


200g rice (arborio, bomba if you can find it)
500g water
2 garlic cloves crushed with knife or garlic press
5-10 capers
a splash of caper juice brine
6 anchovy fillets
50 ml heavy cream
12 saffron strands (steeping in a tbsp of hot water)
1/2 tbs sweet paprika
2g maldon salt


01: add water, salt, rice, garlic, to the sauce pot
02: bring to a boil and cook until al dente. Stir to release starches about 20 mins
03: strain and run hot tab water to remove some of the starch, a few seconds
04: bring rice back into the pot, add saffron water
05: keep cooking on low heat to reduce the water
06: add anchovies, keep stirring until water is gone
07: remove from the stove
08: add heavy cream and capers and caper brine
09: plate and garnish with paprika.

I hope you find this recipe enjoyable!

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  1. No fear of anchovies here, Paul. I bet this is one flavorful serving of rice! Have you seen white anchovies? They’re anchovies that are processed differently and stored in vinegar & oil but without all of the salt we’re accustomed to seeing. The result is a milder tasting anchovy and I bet it wold be perfect in this dish for those who may find anchovies to “strong” — but not me. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

      1. Thanks for the info. My supplier of white anchovies no longer carries them and I’m in need of another source. I would love to find boquerones here and see if they’d work in my pasta. 🙂

    1. Hi Cosmo! thanks for checking my blog and thanks for sending me this tasty recipes! I love risotto, rice goes well with pretty much everything! like pasta or bread. But that risotto creaminess is priceless, I will be looking forward to more post from you!

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