Can I Make You Love this No-Knead Antipasto Pizza (With Anchovies)?

Dear people that do not like anchovies,

I get it. They smell funny.  They’re untrustingly tiny.  They have gray bodies with hairy little bones.  Sometimes they show up in slick, silvery white coats.  You’d think this costume change would ease things, but it doesn’t, does it? No, it leaves you more suspicious than ever.  Swimming in distrust. 

Anchovies do have a reputation for being shifty.  For sneaking into things.  They’re in your Caesar dressing.  They’re in that Bloody Mary you had a brunch yesterday. And you know Aunt Betty’s famous onion dip you love? Yup. She uses Worcestershire sauce.  So they’re in there too. You feel used now, don’t you?  At least a little bit?

And still, I probably can’t change your mind.  I can’t make you love anchovies.  And this makes me feel a bit like Bonnie Raitt begging to her disengaged lover.  Singing her one last, sad plea. “I can’t make you love me,” she laments.  I feel precisely the same.  I’m powerless here.

Now, in retrospect this probably isn’t the woman to spark your interest in anchovies. (Nothing personal, Bonnie.)  Her reputation isn’t all that great.  She has already confessed she can’t make [you] love her.  So she sure as heck can’t make you love anchovies.  And I get that.  But it’s too late. 

I’ll have to rely on this pizza instead.  It’s the best persuasive device I’ve got.  It keeps all of your taste buds fairly occupied. It has tangy red onions; olive oil and thyme-roasted cauliflower; salty cured olives; and Italian parsley and garlic that imparts just the right amount of bite.  Just enough to distract your senses. It’s like garlic bread crossed with a pizza and an antipasto platter.

Not to mention that the pizza crust is very laid back to make.  It’s a take on Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza crust.  I’ve been making his no-knead bread for a few years.  And he has recently come out with My Pizza, which features pies like the ones he serves up at his restaurant, Co..  A version of his dough recipe can be found here.  

But I just took his bread recipe, one lazy day, and let it sit for a little longer on the counter top. That’s it.  A ridiculously simple crust with some stuff on it. That’s all I got. All of my pizza toppings are on the table. Because I can’t make you love anchovies, if you don’t.

So consider my shout out to this pensive nineties ballad, and said pizza description thereafter, a formal appeal for you to reconsider your previous relationship with anchovies.  Because this really is a wonderful pizza. Just try it.  Just give me until then to give up this fight.  And I will give up this fight.


P.s. or just leave them off.

No-Knead Antipasto Pizza (With Anchovies)


Pizza dough 
Adapted from My Bread By Jim Lahey

3 cups bread flour
½ tsp active dry yeast
1½ tsp salt
~1½ cups cold water

Pizza topping

1 red onion, very thinly sliced
~¼ cup white vinegar
Kosher salt
~2 tbsp butter
~3 tbsp Italian parsley, very finely minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
~1 cup cauliflower florets, thinly sliced
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
~½ tbsp fresh thyme, minced
~5 cured black olives, sliced
~6 white anchovies
~¼ cup parmesan cheese


Combine the flour, yeast, salt, and water together in a large bowl and stir until it forms a sticky, but cohesive mass.  Cover and let the dough sit on the countertop for a whole day.  After 24 hours, punch the dough down with floured hands and divide the dough in half.  Use the other half for another pizza, or prepare a small bread loaf.  See a technique for doing so here.

Let the pizza dough rise for 1 hour, covered. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl toss the red onion in vinegar with a little salt; set aside. Combine the butter, parsley, and minced garlic by kneading it a bit with your hands; place it in another small bowl and set aside. On a baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme and roast until the cauliflower is golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. 

When the dough is ready, generously oil another sheet pan. Stretch and shape the pizza dough into a form of your choosing.  Place the dough in the pan with the oil, stretching it until it's fairly even in thickness.  Drizzle the top of the dough with a little olive oil, spreading it towards the edges (a few teaspoons or so), and then spread on the parsley butter.  Add the red onions, shaking off any excess vinegar so they aren’t too wet.  Cook the pizza at 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Then, add the cauliflower, black olives, anchovies, and dusting of parmesan.  Continue to cook for 15-25 minutes more, or until both the top and bottom of the crust is golden brown.

Makes 1 small flatbread (serves about 2)

-You’ll want to start this dough approximately 26 hours before you plan to eat pizza.

-Now, of course you could simply use this dough as a delivery system for any number of your favorite toppings.  I just like fighting for the little guy.  And anchovies don't get no respect.

-I didn’t want to divide the dough amounts in half to make 1 pizza because I wasn’t sure if it would change the fermenting of dough.  Plus, I wanted bread. So you'll have extra.


  1. I love anchovies! Especially on pizza :) This one is making my mouth water!

  2. I think pizza is very versatile in mix and match. Anchovies on a pizza is a drool worthy experience. Yummy! =)

  3. I like anchovies sometimes, but it has to be in the right mix of other ingredients! This sounds right up my alley.

  4. i'm ashamed to confess that i'm loath to eat anything containing anchovies simply because of their bad reputation. plus, they're fish, and i hate all fish. i know i've probably eaten them many times without realizing it, and probably enjoyed whatever they added, but i shall stubbornly continue to avoid them wherever possible. :)

  5. Emily, what a wonderful post. Anchovies are rather sneaky, aren't they? I'm happy to have them in some of their more covert forms, but sometimes I get scared off if they're being a little more confrontational. A long baking in the oven on pizza tends to mellow them out in my experience, though. The pizza looks great--I especially like the idea of roasted cauliflower.

    Two questions: (a) where does Lahey's pizza crust fall on the scale between crisp and chewy? (b) should I see white anchovies out specifically? I've heard that their better than their common counterparts, but I haven't had any luck tracking them down.

  6. Hi Katie,

    Great questions! This pizza crust falls more on the side of crisp than chewy (I think the healthy glugs of olive oil help with this). Jim recommends baking the pizza at a higher temp (~500) and shorter time, which I think would make it a little more chewy, but my oven tends to run a little cold. I'd definitely try to seek out the white anchovies if you can find them. They aren't nearly as salty or fishy in flavor. You could always leave them off too. Pissaladière is a similar pizza from Provence that uses the more traditional anchovies if you really want them.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    I am thrilled to see I am not alone here!