You may recall your grandparents enjoying sardines on black bread with onions. This eating habit may not have left a memorable imprint when grandma and grandpa reached in to kiss you on both cheeks! Before you turn your nose up with an “ew”, it’s time to give what these little babies have to offer in health and in taste a chance! A powerhouse of sustainable nutrition, you may discover that sardines’ versatility in recipes is just what your taste buds are craving.
Hello Palate was founded on rediscovering foods our ancestors once enjoyed. I believe quality food is a celebration of nourishment at its finest. Why limit only to sweet and salty, two notes that leave our western palates flat? Like a musician, why not use all the flavors to create a variety of melodies on our palates, to enhance our eating pleasure while providing our bodies the information they need to feel great!
If you find sardines intimidating, it may be worth it for convenience, sustainability and nutritional density to give them a go. Plus, they provide your palate with a melody of diverse flavors. And to my fellow sardine lovers, we may have to start sharing our plates with the newly converted! Well, then elbows out and dig in.
Sardine Superbowl Salad
Preparing a mustard herb vinaigrette is an easy method for the newbie. The zest of the lemon and mustard will give the fish a brightness in taste that compliments any overpowering fishy flavor some people may fear. If you like tuna salad, you will discover that sardines are actually milder on the palate.
Once you have created the balanced ratio of mustard to lemon and olive oil, the fun begins to create your salad. Add your favorite seasonings like capers, herbs, aromatics and extra celery for crunch. It creates the most fragrant of dishes. You know when that aroma hits the nose, your mouth starts to salivate and you’re ready to eat! (Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 2 tablespoons Avocado Oil
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon rinsed capers
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 finely diced stalks celery
- 1 tablespoon scallion finely chopped
- 1/2 half avocado diced
- Two 4.4-oz cans olive-oil-packed (drained) sardines
- 4 romaine leaves, sprouts, lemon, and quinoa are examples to augment your super bowl.
- Combine oil, lemon zest and juice, mustard, capers, parsley, and celery in a bowl.
- Chop sardines with your knife and fold with avocado cubes gently into your dressing; season with salt and pepper. Serve on lettuce with extra garnish of herbs. Build your super bowl adding in quinoa, extra steamed veggies, sprouts, or anything to your fancy.
Twist on the Caesar Salad Dressing
Swapping out anchovies in a classic Caesar dressing is a wonderful opportunity to boost your nutrition and enjoy your salad bowls. Use this recipe to adjust your taste buds to the flavors and depth of sardines.
- 1 Garlic clove, pressed garlic
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 sardines (canned in olive oil, discard oil from can)
- 1 egg yolk raw
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients and whisk in olive oil to emulsify. Enjoy as a condiment to your salad bowls.
Zardine your Zucchini Noodles
Many Sicilian Americans serve a dish called “Pasta con Le Sarde” that combines the fillets with raisins, fennel and orange zest to celebrate Christmas Eve. This is my weekday interpretation; it’s lighter and clean on the palate with a gluten free option (I may start to say pesticide free option). I’m not particularly a “hater” of wheat, rather concerned more about the process and methods our country practices to grow it. (Recipe adapted by Mario Batali)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1 whole zest of blood orange
- 1/4 cup currants or raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron
- 1/4 cup juice of blood orange
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 medium size bulb fennel, trimmed, halved and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 3.75oz BPA free olive-oil-packed (drained) sardines
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (two large cloves)
- 1 pound zucchini noodles
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- Gently toast pine nuts in a skillet.
- In a small bowl combine zest of orange, saffron, and currants. Juice the orange and pour into bowl to soak ingredients for 10 mins.
- Heat olive oil over low fame and add your onion and fennel until tender.
- Add your sardines, garlic and orange currant mixture and combine until fragrant.
- Add your zucchini noodles into your sauté pan and cook unit al dente.
- Finish on top your noodles with pine nuts, parsley and salt and pepper.
I hope your taste buds are curious! After-all, sardines are jam-packed with elusive nutrients that are lacking in our eating habits. They’re one of the best non-dairy, calcium-rich foods that offers natural synergy of other minerals to support the absorption rate of calcium. Other benefits include: they’re anti-inflammatory with quality omega-3, they contain a good amount of vitamin B12, and help regulate our blood sugar balance with protein and high quality fat profile.
To the taste of good health…cheers! MP