Gavros (anchovies) is one of the relatively cheap fish and that is why it is called “fish of the poor”. During the season it is fished in abbundance it ranges around 4 – 5 Euros a kilo and when the catch is not good, around the period when there is full moon, it reaches maximum 10 Euros a kilo.
However, we are very grateful it is still cheap as it is delicious and can be cooked in many ways.
Fish like anchovies, sardinnes etc., also known as “foam fish” are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are not only good for our heart, kidneys, and digestive system, but also to help in treating depression and other brain disorders. With the sudden economic crisis, the only thing you hear people talking about is how they have been affected by the measures taken and how they cannot cope any more. Everyone is feeling depressed and suicide rates have risen tremendously. This is why we should eat fatty fish at least twice a week.
Cooking this dish with extra virgin olive oil (rich source of monosaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E and many more properties), tomatoes (lycopene, potassium etc), garlic (allicin), red onions (flavonoids, quersetin as well as allicin), parsley (Vitamins K and C) makes this dish perfect for your heart, mood, health and don’t forget your pocket.
When making this dish, I prefer to fillet the anchovies. This is time consuming and labour intense but you can always add the fish whole, only removing the head and guts. When gavros is not too big you can also eat it with the backbone if you like. In this case finely cut all the vegetables and mix.
In order to clean and fillet the fish, just pull the head and the guts will also be removed. Then with a sharp knife score the belly and separate both pieces. Take the backbone from the top and pull it gently, moving towards the tail. Cut the tail with a knife.
Filetarismenos Gavros Plaki sto Fourno (Filleted Baked Anchovies) – Traditional Greek Recipe
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 – 50 minutes
Serves: 3 to 4
- 750 grams fresh anchovies
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into thin slices
- 2 medium red onions, cut into thin slices
- 1 to 2 cloves, garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 cup olive oil
- Cut the head pulling out the guts. Then wash and let it drain and season with salt and pepper.
- Chop the onion, garlic and parsley and add some salt and oregano and mix.
- Cut the tomato in the middle and then finely chop them and season with salt.
- Begin by adding a layer of tomatoes in a baking pan or Pyrex.
- On top add some of the onion, garlic, and parsley mixture.
- Put a layer of anchovies with the skin facing downwards.
- Add some more onions, garlic and parsley.
- Put the remaining anchovies, skin now facing upwards.
- Put the remaining onions, garlic, parsley and oregano.
- Finish with a last layer of tomatoes, salt and oregano.
- Finally add the olive oil on top of the anchovies.
- Bake in a preheated oven to 180o C for 45 – 50 minutes, until vegetables are cooked, without mixing and without adding any water.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,