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 and anchovies: In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the oil from the jar of anchovies. Remove the anchovies from the jar and drain them on a paper towel. Place them in the vinaigrette, add the red pepper flakes 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 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 some piquillo peppers and then spoon on some tomatoes and vinaigrette. Add 2 anchovy fillets on top, and drizzle with more vinaigrette. Season with flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.