Today’s recipe isn’t going to win any beauty contests. (Nice try, parsley sprig.) And on paper, “sardines on toast” sounds sort of Dickensian and sad, some little soot-covered street urchin’s attempt at a proper meal. I promise you, though, it’s perfectly delicious, satisfying, and healthful. Best of all, it’s absolutely aces in the quick-and-easy category, for those nights when you’re home late from work, your fridge is empty and you can’t possibly wait the half hour or forty-five minutes it takes for a delivery guy to show up. When you can’t wait five minutes, ’cause Lady needs to eat.
Protocol for that dire scenario: first, toast a slice of bread from last night’s dinner. Root around in your pantry for a tin of sardines. (It’s under the anchovies.) Mash up the sardines with a bit of the olive oil they’re packed in, a few splashes of red wine vinegar, some shallots, some salt and pepper. Put the sardine mash on top of the toast. Open a cold beer. Eat.
Now, if the idea of tinned sardines give you the “icks”, just try it. You can buy the type that’s de-boned and headless (though the whole little fish is perfectly edible, bones and all), and if you’ve ever enjoyed a tuna salad sandwich, you might find this even tastier. Also, sardines are sustainable (good for the oceans), and packed with omega-3s, vitamin D and more calcium than milk (good for you). Now eat already!
Sardines on Toast
- 1 slice toasted bread (preferably sturdy country-style)
- one 3.75 oz tin of sardines (preferably headless and boneless, packed in olive oil)
- olive oil, if needed
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped (or a scant 1/2 tsp dried)
- 1/4 tsp dried dill (optional)
- 1 1/2 tsp capers, drained & mashed (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Drain the sardines of all but 1 generous Tbsp of the olive oil (add a little more if you’re short). In a small bowl, add the vinegar, shallots and capers. Mix with a fork to combine. Add the sardines, parsley and dill and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Mash lightly with a fork. Have a little taste and tweak the seasonings to your preference. Top the toast with the sardine mash. Eat.