Top | The Glorious Foods of Greece

Fresh Anchovies in Brine

(recipe, Diane Kochilas)


This simple, pungent, exquisite meze is found in many parts of Greece. I've placed it here among the seaside dishes of Messolongi and the western coast of Roumeli only because here the light salting and quick preserving of small fish and seafood is a practice completely entrenched in local culinary customs. While elsewhere only vinegar, salt, and olive oil go into the marinade for gavros, in this part of Greece the dish is enhanced with parsley and garlic.


  1. 2 lb. small fresh anchovies
  2. Salt
  3. Red-wine vinegar
  4. 4 garlic cloves, cut into very thin slivers
  5. 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  6. Extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Gut the anchovies and remove the heads. Wash the fish thoroughly.
  2. Place the fish in layers in a plastic container, salting each layer generously. Pour in enough vinegar to cover. Leave the fish to marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 15 hours.
  3. Drain off the vinegar. Remove the spines from the fish by pulling each one gently but firmly from the tail end. The whole backbone should come out this way.
  4. Place the fish back in the container in neat layers and sprinkle a little garlic and parsley between the layers. Pour in enough olive oil to cover. Let stand for several hours before serving.
  5. Refrigerate the fish and it will keep for several weeks.