If you are reading this, I give you props for being more open-minded than my brother, sister and mother who flee the room when I crack open a tin of sardines.
I’ve loved sardines ever since my dad introduced me to them sometime in my childhood. Since then, we’ve been the only ones who eat them in a household of sardine-shunners. Sad, but true considering what a cheap, convenient and nutrient-packed little package of perfection they are: high in calcium, omega-3 fats, iron, protein AND sustainable to boot. Because they’re low on the food chain, they’re less likely to contain toxins like, say, tuna. Plus, they are delicious.
Yes, the teensy little bones are a little freakeh and they are pretty pungent, I’ll admit. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them. I don’t eat them all that often, but when I do, I eat them in sandwiches, over quinoa, hot or cold, in salad or just out of the can.
This is the first time I’ve made a spread out of them and it is SO TASTY. I spread this over narrow slices of Sarah B.’s life-changing bread to make tartines, or open-faced sandwiches. I think it’s pretty cool that I can eat bread and still call this a detox meal! (This would fit into the week 2 category of the Whole Living detox since it contains nothing but fish, herbs, nuts, gluten-free grains and seeds. Snaps all around.)
I made this as part of a picnic that I took to Erik as a dinner break and it was his second favorite dish! He was completely surprised how much he liked it since he’d never tried/been skeptical about sardines before. Proof that sardines rock.
GIVE SARDINES A CHANCE!
Really. They are so good.
Protein-packed sardines smashed with herbs, olive oil and lemon make a simple, tasty spread for a good loaf of bread.
- 1 can sardines, preferably oil-packed
- ¼ cup parsley, loosely packed
- ¼ cup cilantro, loosely packed
- juice from ½ lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons capers, for serving (optional, but they add an excellent hit of brine and salt)
- Baby kale or some other baby greens, for serving
- Life-changing bread serves as excellent toast, for serving
Add drained sardines to food processor, reserving leftover oil in the tin. Add parsley and cilantro and process for 5-10 seconds or until mixture is uniformly combined. Add lemon juice and drizzle in a bit of reserved oil to loosen the mixture. Process until combined.
Meanwhile, you can use brush some of the reserved sardine oil on slices of bread and grill over medium heat. Spread sardine mixture on bread, top with baby greens and capers and eat!
Adapted from Bon Appetit