Sable, a savoury shortbread biscuit, originated in Normandy and date back to the 19th century. Commonly flavoured with parmesan or similar cheeses, this recipe calls for the addition of anchovies for an extra hit of salty flavour.






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  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 140 g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 40 g (½ cup) finely grated parmesan
  • 6 anchovy fillets in oil, drained, very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Makes about 35 biscuits
Chilling time 30 minutes

Place flour in a large bowl and add butter. Using your fingertips, rub in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir through parmesan then add anchovies and gently mix together to form a firm dough. Alternatively, you can place flour, butter and cheese in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles fine crumbs, then add anchovies and pulse again until mixture just comes together.

Roll into a 4 cm-diameter log; you can cut the log in half to create 2 shorter lengths to make it easier to manage, if necessary. Roll log in poppy seeds, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove log from plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife, cut log into 5 mm slices to make about 35 biscuits in total. Place biscuits spaced apart on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 10 minutes or until just starting to become golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or just simply just eat them all in one great big sitting.



Photography Alan Benson. Styling Michelle Crawford. Food preparation Asher Gilding.


As seen in Feast magazine, July 2014, Issue 33.