Egg, Pepper and Anchovy Salad


I promised myself to use my kitchen library more often. I did it when I started to mark with red stickers all the spines of the books I have never cooked from. I was appalled by the result and decided to act immediately, especially since another two recently ordered items were on their way… I love reading cookery books, leafing through them (even those which don’t have illustrations), dreaming with them (those without photos are excellent here), but somehow rarely open them in my kitchen.

The other day, desperate to use up a couple of dying, wilted red peppers I forced myself to keep away from the computer and turn to my book shelves instead. I remembered vaguely something interesting in a Spanish cookery book I haven’t opened for ages and I was right. A cute little book called simply Cocina Espaรฑola (a Spanish edition of “Spanish” by Parragon books, no author), brought by my friend as a gift from Spain, proved to contain a salad I was able to prepare without even going out shopping. I couldn’t ask more for lunch on a hot sunny day: the salad was quick, easy, comforting and incredibly Mediterranean. In short the epitome of a casual Spanish dish.

This salad (not the first recipe from this concise but surprisingly practical book) not only convinced me that I should cook Spanish more often, but most of all, proved once more that my cooking library if full of treasures I should profit from. It has also reminded me how much I adore anchovies and how delightful they are paired with eggs. Accidentally, it’s the first Spanish recipe I have posted on my blog and I was very glad to add a new “country” category.

I have slightly adapted the original recipe to make it a dish for one. I have also changed the proportions and replaced black olives with vinegared capers to add a fresh, acid accent. (I’m sorry for the messy presentation, but I was really hungry!).

Preparation: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves one as the main course or two as a starter):

2 hard boiled eggs

2 big sweet red peppers (long or bell peppers)

6 -8 canned anchovy fillets (drained)

3 tablespoons drained capers (I used vinegared capers) or 6- 8 black olives


1 tablespoon jerez (sherry) vinegar

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

salt, pepper

Combine the olive oil, the vinegar, season with salt and pepper.

Cut the peppers in two and place, skin side up, under the oven grill or keep them over the flame until the skin becomes black.

Put them into a plastic bag, close it and wait until they cool down.

Peel them with your fingers, remove the seeds and white parts.

Wash the peppers and slice them.

Cut the eggs into quarters.

Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl.

Pour the sauce over them and serve with bread.




34 Replies to “Egg, Pepper and Anchovy Salad”

  1. I know what you mean, I have so many cook books and I read them constantly but never cook from them. I too have decided that I am going to start cooking from them, once I get back to the kitchen and my blog. I have been very busy with Ramadan and have done very little concocting.

    The salad looks perfect for a summers day and I love how it’s made with such few ingredients but ones that pack a great flavour punch. Gorgeous colours too.


    1. Thank you so much, Nazneen. I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t use cookery books often enough.

  2. What a simple and tasty appetizer! Great find in that long lost cookbook of yours! I really need to start going back through mine. Like yours – I have some that haven’t been open in years!

  3. Altho’ I am so keen on the various Mediterranean styles of cooking for taste, colour and health, the Iberian Peninsula somehow comes at the tail end of recipe searches. This salad is delightful in all its aspects and will be put into ‘menu queue’ ! I oft find recipes on the Net these days, but yet also am an inveterate cookery book buyer, lover and hoarder ๐Ÿ™‚ !

    1. Thank you so much, Eha. It’s curious how often people cook Italian and how rarely they try Spanish dishes. I’m glad to learn you also love cookery books.

  4. Besides Jerez vinegar, I have everything in the fridge today. I even bought the bell pepper so that I can try your peeling method for my heartburn problem! This salad has everything I like, even capers and anchovies, and I cannot wait to try it. Have a great weekend!
    p.s. sorry for hogging the email and my slow response… i’m running out of my time >_<

    1. Hi, Nami. I think you can substitute it with any vinegar really… Of course the taste will be slightly different, but everything here has a strong taste and it’s such a no-fuss dish… Good luck! I hope I was right with your peel problem ๐Ÿ˜‰ (I must say I also digest skinless pepper better)

  5. I’m guilty of the same problem. Somehow it’s seems easier to search the web for recipes rather than flipping through the recipe books so my poor books are just there collecting dust. I should really quit being lazy and start diggin g the books out. As for the dish, it look colourful and very appetising!

    1. Thank you, Sylvia. Yes, I think we all should look more often to the books. It takes such a long time and so much effort to produce a good cookery book… They do merit more attention.

  6. You certainly have a lot more will power than I being hungry and producing a nice pic. I’d have nothing, post nor pic to show. I love all these meze type foods. This would be a perfect light meal on its own!

    1. Thank you so much, Ping. Most of the times when I’m hungry and the food smells great, I cannot even take one shot. I had just a bit more patience here (but not much really). I had it as a main course with bread.

  7. What a gorgeous and colourful salad, Sissi. In my effort to reduce the number of plastic bags I use in the kitchen (new year’s resolution), I find putting the peppers into a bowl and covering the bowl with a plate does the same thing, steaming the skins off the red peppers. I had to Google Jerez vinegar and am glad I did. I will surely pick some up on our trip to Spain in the fall (we’re staying 4 days in Barcelona. We rented a cut little apartment that has a kitchen so I’m hoping to do a little cooking there!

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. Of course any “steamy” environment works well to peel off the skin. In France Jerez vinegar is sold in all the supermarkets. Somehow it’s very popular. I thought it was also popular in North America. Anyway, I’m sure you will buy an excellent one in Spain.

  8. Messy presentation? No way – it looks beautiful… like a little star! I love the little points of egg ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet this must be lovely chomping this down and mopping up the sauce with some nice bread!

    1. Thank you, Charles. I was so worried it would look horribly messy (but I have another, even worse salad photo coming!). Actually most of the sauce somehow was absorbed by eggs and the peppers. It was really good and easy.

    1. Thank you so much, Barb. It wasn’t my first try with Spanish cuisine, but I cook it rarely and it was the first Spanish dish on my blog. I am very happy to add another country category ๐Ÿ™‚ Jerez vinegar is simply sherry vinegary (Jerez is sherry in Spanish). It’s so widely known by this Spanish name here, I haven’t thought of putting “sherry” instead. I will update the ingredients list.

  9. To be honest, I am not a big fan of anchovies but your sauce deliciously balanced the flavor the fish and it’s something for me to try. Hmm, I just said I’m not a big fan but never gave up on it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love your presentation of the salad. Have a good week, Sissi!

    1. Thank you so much, Ray. I know many people dislike anchovies. They have such a strong, particular taste…

  10. Hi Sissi, I’ve not cooked Spanish before, but I always admire the vivid colors of their dishes! How beautiful is it and I bet the taste is wonderful!

    We are similar when it comes to cook books, I have a bunch of them, though when it comes to cooking, I almost never use the books, most of the recipes come from good old internet searches! Though lately I have been browsing the cookbooks section at the library, and have found some treasures, can’t wait for the fridge to get fixed so I can try new recipes again. (I know can you believe it’s been almost a month without a properly working fridge? I am so frustrated!)

    1. Thank you very much, Jeno. I was worried it would look messy and appetising only to me ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your fridge is still not working? I feel so sorry for you… I have been thinking about you yesterday because it was the hottest day this summer and our overloaded fridge started to go crazy and the temperature kept on going high, I kept on lowering it, and so on… finally it has calmed down.

  11. Sissi, this is just *so* pretty – it took my breath away when I first clicked on the post (one of those, you know?). I love finding uses for older fridge items and in this case, converting it into a masterpiece! Love all the ingredients… What a fabulous find. Isn’t it fun to thumb through old cookbooks…(and dreaming with them too ;-)).

    1. Thank you very much, Kelly. Once more I thought I was the only one that found this messy presentation appetising and once more you have proved I was wrong ๐Ÿ™‚ Apart from peppers I constantly have the other required ingredients in my kitchen, so I will make this salad quite often.

  12. Sometimes when I’m requiring different inspiration I do look through our library of books and either find something that tempts my stomach or I put multiple ideas together into something new. I’m pretty sure that I would have been tempted (as I am now) by this dish and made it as is. Hope you had a great weekend Sissi!

  13. Dear Sissi,

    I never used to like anchovies but now I love it in pizza, pasta and salads. I think it goes especially well with boiled egg to like your beautiful salad or a Caesar.

    1. Thank you, Chopinand. Anchovies are one of the “love or hate” products, but since I grew up eating pickled herrings and herrings in oil, both quite strong and “fishy”, they have always been a part of my beloved ingredients.

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