One of the first cookbooks I ever bought was a translated edition of Austin de Croze’s
This extraordinary book became the basis for my “Regions of France” festivals at Chez Panisse starting in 1973. For all regions anywhere near Provence we would spread this anchoiade on baguettes, bake them on trays of pine needles (making the kitchen smell like a fantasy Provençal farmhouse), and serve them piping hot to everyone as they first sat down.
The puree by itself is anchoiade, but spread on toast dipped in olive oil it is lou pan bagna or, translated from the Provençal, “bathed bread.”
This anchoiade bears very little resemblance to any other you will encounter, with its hint of Tunisia and perfumes of Moorish Andalusia. It’s better.
Soak the figs in the Pernod and Chartreuse for 2 hours.
Put the remaining ingredients in a food processor and grind until the texture of whole grain mustard—smooth but not completely so, not like baby food.
Spread on olive-oiled bread and bake in an oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the sea salt and with red chili flakes, if you are in the mood, as I usually am.
© 2002 Jeremiah Tower. All rights reserved.