There are so many anchovies to choose from at the supermarket. I always aim for the ones in a glass jar or in any packaging where I can actually see the fillets. I look for pristine, firm fillets, with their silvery skin or without, that look like an invitation to eat! For this recipe, I like the pure taste of fish simply packed in a neutral oil or olive oil and without excessive herbs or spices.
Piquillo means 'little beak' in Spanish. Named for their shape, these peppers are sweet and come fire-roasted and peeled. The result? A luscious ready-to-eat red pepper with great texture.
I like to put the cold, straight-from-the-fridge anchovies on the warm toast for a temperature contrast.
Prepare the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the 4 tablespoons olive oil with the vinegar, parsley, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the oil from the jar of anchovies. Add the piquillo peppers, tomato and red pepper flakes to the vinaigrette, and marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to 4 hours (refrigerated).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the toasts: Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a sheet pan, brush them with olive oil and toast them in the oven until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn the slices over and toast for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until they are dry and crunchy.
Serve: Spread the butter on the toasts, top each toast with the marinated peppers and tomatoes. Add 2 anchovy fillets on top, and drizzle with more vinaigrette. Season with flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.