Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sardines with fennel, mustard, and dill

Lunch box for normal appetites, snack box for Erica appetite :) (link) Sardine salad over massaged kale, homemade pimiento cheese and homemade baba ghanoush with aleppo. Recipes for the dips forthcoming!

Recently Christina and I did a paleo snack exchange. She posted about the box I sent her here. I asked for goodies from Trader Joe's since I don't have one in my area and she sent me soooo much yummy stuff! I was going to photograph and blog everything but I ate it all too quickly, oops. Some of my faves included a few different brands of dark chocolate, Smoke Seasoning Blend (love it on beef), Flower Pepper (great on salads), nori crisps, rosemary marcona almonds (HOLY WOW), spicy dried mango (I've been adding it to cheese plates!), turkey jerky, and all kinds of other awesomeness.

I bring this up because one thing she included was a box of sardines in olive oil. I had never tried sardines before and I'm really not big on canned fish, so I was skeptical. Turns out I LOVE THEM! I am very happy about this new discovery. They are cheap, portable, incredibly filling, and they have a great fatty acid profile. World's Healthiest Foods has an article about the benefits. So, I decided to develop a sardine recipe.

I used this brand. I knew that I wanted wild-caught fish (farmed fish has inferior omega-3 content due to eating a pelleted diet), I wanted it packed in extra virgin olive oil (NOT soybean oil), lightly smoked sounded good, and I heard that brislings are the best. But if you have other recommendations please let me know!

Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup finely minced dill leaves
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil or mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbs mustard (I used 2 Tbs dijon + 2 Tbs grainy)
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • Juice of one lemon (about 2 Tbs)
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • Half of a small fennel bulb, sliced very thinly (the sliced fennel gives it a nice textural contrast but also makes it more difficult to scoop up with celery or other veggie dippers, so feel free to finely chop it instead)
  • 4 cans of sardines in extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a medium bowl except for the sardines and fennel.
  2. Add the sardines (including the oil) and mash with a fork to the desired consistency. I like it kind of coarse, but some people might prefer it very fine and pate-like.
  3. Stir in the fennel.
  4. Serve over salad greens or scoop up with veggies!

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