Cheesy Anchovy Toast

My mom is the queen of open-faced sandwiches.

She prefers more toppings than bread, like I do. She slathers on condiments generously, seasons aggressively, and makes open-faced sandwiches that are so luscious that they can be eaten as a meal with a fork and knife, and yet somehow tastes better without utensils, with fingers meant to be licked afterwards. She likes – no, she loves – cheese, the meltier, the better. She likes crab salad, sardines, anchovies. Pastrami, chorizo, spicy sausage. Like I do, like I do, like I do.


My mom is the queen of Italy. She’s traveled to Italy multiple times, and she has favorites in each city. She knows more about the Renaissance artists more than anyone else I know. I can’t see anything by Versace or Dolce & Gabbana without thinking of her. I loved roaming the streets of Italy with her, mesmerized by the beauty of Venice, shopping in Milan, and marvelling at the duomo in Florence. And don’t forget that my mom named me Bianca, the Italian word for pure and white. Grazie mamma! 

My mom is the queen of our family. Life with her is an adventure, and something I wouldn’t even think of trading for actual royalty. She takes care of us, inspires us all to be better, and makes sure we all look nice :)

I wanted to make this Cheesy Anchovy Toast as a Mother’s Day tribute for my mom. What is toast if not a fancy open-faced sandwich, right? I made a garlicky cheese spread first – sharp cheddar cheese, mayo, garlic powder, pepper, Tabasco – and generously topped the sourdough slices before toasting in a hot oven. Salty anchovies – the kind that I used to hate but now cannot live without, the kind that my mom always liked – were draped on top, then showered with more aggressive flavors: chives and red chili pepper flakes.

I loved the combination of the toasted bread, the creamy cheese baked to golden perfection, the briny fish, and the herbs. I ate it with my hands, and licked my fingers afterwards. I thought of my mom, the queen of my heart.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy! I love you <3

Yield: serves 2

Cheesy Anchovy Toast

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 20 minutes


1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of Tabasco
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 slices of sourdough
2 oz (1 tin) anchovies
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Make the cheese spread. In a medium bowl, combine cheese, mayo, and garlic powder. Season to taste with Tabasco and fresh ground pepper.
  3. Spread on top of sliced sourdough. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and is lightly golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and place on plate. Top with anchovies, chives, pepper flakes. Let cool for a bit so you don't burn your tongue, then enjoy!

The saltiness in each bite is pretty aggressive. You can tone it down by using less anchovies or even substituting with white anchovies.

If you’d like read my Mother’s Day posts from previous years, they’re all here: 201120122013201420152016, 2017.