In this easy appetizer, which is perfect for casual summer entertaining, tart quick pickled onions, creamy aioli and meaty boquerones, or filleted white anchovies, create an unforgettable combination of flavors and textures. Boquerones are available online and at many gourmet grocers, but you can substitute anchovies if you can’t find them.
Tosta de Boquerones
For the pickled onions:
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) sherry vinegar
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1 serrano chile, sliced
1 dried red chile (optional)
6 whole peppercorns
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced
For the aioli:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. pimentón or smoked paprika
Pinch of kosher salt
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 loaf crusty bread
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter
4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 lb. (125 g) boquerones or olive oil–packed anchovy fillets, drained
Pimentón or smoked paprika for garnish
To make the pickled onions, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) water, the vinegars, garlic, serrano chile, dried chile, peppercorns, sugar and salt.
Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Place the onion in a heatproof jar or bowl. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onion so that all the slices are submerged. Let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.
In a blender or mini food processor, combine the egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, pimentón and salt and process to combine. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil, just a few drops at first and then in a steady stream, until the oil is completely incorporated and the mixture is thickened. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Cut the bread into slices about 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick, then cut each slice in half. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Working in batches, fry the bread, turning once, until golden brown and toasted all over, about 3 minutes per side, transferring the slices to the prepared baking sheet as they are finished. Repeat with the remaining bread slices, adding the remaining 2 Tbs. butter and 2 Tbs. olive oil to the pan as needed.
To assemble, spread each piece of toast with a spoonful of the aioli. Top each piece of toast with a
boquerón and a few pieces of pickled onion. Sprinkle very lightly with pimentón and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen