I've been wanting to get into sardines for awhile, but I must admit, I've been a little scared.
I'm not the biggest fan of canned tuna (though I do like the kind that comes packed in oil), and intense fishiness tends to be off-putting to me. But I've been reading about how heart-healthy sardines are, thanks to their rich Omega-3 content, which helps lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, curb joint stiffness and promote overall heart health. So when Season Sardines offered to send me a few sardines varieties to try, I decided to take them up on it.
I was immediately inspired to make something akin to my smoked tuna salad--something I could eat on crackers or with salad greens for a healthy lunch. Sardines have so much natural flavor that they need only need a few brightening elements to highlight them.
I went with lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper, and flat leaf parsley. Classic fish pairings.
The resulting pâté was delicious on crackers and celery, but it would also be good on toast, as the filling of a sandwich (it's like tuna salad but much creamier and smoother), or as the protein component of an entree salad.
I'm excited to try making this again with different herbs. Cilantro and chilies would be tasty, as would tarragon and minced shallots, for a more classic French flavor profile. But meanwhile, I'm pretty darn pleased with this super-quick appetizer/snack. And I'm happy to report, I'm no longer afraid of sardines. Delicious things are never scary.
Note: I was compensated by Season Sardines for this post and for developing the recipe. However all opinions are completely my own.
- 2 4.25 tins of sardines (water-packed or oil-packed) $5
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (use 1 tablespoon, if using oil-packed sardines) Pantry
- 1/4 teaspoon salt Pantry
- black pepper to taste Pantry
- 1 small handful fresh parsley, chopped roughly $1 for a bunch
- small squeeze lemon juice $0.50 for 1 lemon
Recipe Serves 4
- If you are using sardines packed in water, drain them. Oil-packed sardines don't need to be drained.
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
- Serve with crackers, toast, celery sticks, or atop a mound of greens.