White Anchovies with Dates and Capers

White anchovies with dates and capers on toast

Choose big, meaty, moist dates for this recipe. That have sweet chewy texture that is nicely balanced with salty capers and luscious anchovies. I serve this on bread, which is is optional, but I like the toasty texture it brings. It also soaks up the sweet and salty juice quite well.

White Anchovies with Dates and Capers 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Adapted from Chris CostentinoPublished
White anchovies with dates and capers on toast


  • 16 Medjool dates (halved and pitted)
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts
  • ½ cup loosely packed whole mint leaves (about ½ ounce)
  • 2 tablespoon capers (well rinsed)
  • 4–5 ounce white anchovy fillets and their liquid (can substitute tinned sardines)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • toasted baguette slices (optional)


Measure and prep all the ingredients before beginning. The cooking time is very quick.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sloped sided skillet or frying pan set over high heat. Once it gets quite hot add the dates. Let them sit and sizzle until they blister on one side, about 1 minute. Then toss the pan to flip the dates and add the pine nuts and mint. As soon as the pine nuts begin to color and the mint crisps toss the pan once more and add the capers, anchovies and a pinch of salt. Toss the pan to mix the ingredients and let it sit on the heat until the anchovies are warmed through, about 30 seconds.

Pour the mixture onto a large serving plate and serve it bruschetta style with toasted baguette slices and more olive oil for drizzling (optional). It may also be served on top of mild greens such as baby kale or spinach if you prefer a salad presentation. Use the pan juices and a bit of olive oil as dressing.