White Anchovy and Beaufort Appetizer
If you’re not familiar with the Spanish marinated white anchovies, called boquerones, you deserve to get acquainted. They’re nothing like the pungent dark ones in tins that are commonly draped over pizza. Boquerones have a mild, almost pickled flavor that Chef Sean Takaki, of Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar in Santa Monica, Calif., cleverly offsets here with shavings of Beaufort, a firm raw cow’s milk cheese from the Haute Savoie. The cheese has a smooth texture and slight acid finish. If you can’t find Beaufort, feel free to substitute a French Cantal, or try the Tarentaise made by Spring Brook Farm in Vermont.
- 2 celery hearts
- 16 green seedless grapes, peeled and cut in half
- 16 marinated white anchovy fillets
- Thinly shaved Beaufort cheese
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fleur de sel
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the yellow interiors of each celery heart into ultra-thin slices. (You can do this with a knife, slicing on the diagonal, or using a very sharp vegetable peeler to shave the celery into ribbons.)
- Divide the sliced celery among four individual plates, scatter with grapes and drape four anchovy fillets over each. Top with thin shavings of Beaufort.
- Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fleur de sel and a light grinding of black pepper, and serve.
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