Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sardine Sandwich

It only took me 32 years to discover sardines deliciousness.

Only 32 years.

I didn't know what to expect. Are they super fishy? Do you eat the bones? Do they still have a head.. and do you eat the head?  Water packed or oil packed? What do you eat them with? Can you make a meal of them?

Just thinking about eating them gave me a headache.

Then one day I plopped a tin into my cart vowing to give them a try.

That was 3 months ago.

Sardines are high in calcium (they contain twice the amount of calcium as milk), and vitamin B12 which boosts your mood and helps aid concentration.  They are high in protein and are packed with omega 3 fatty acids. These essential fats reduce inflammation, help to lower cholesterol and have been demonstrated to protect against several forms of cancer. 

Sardines are low on the food chain, so they are very low in contaminants, such as mercury, which is the problem with most seafood. Generally speaking, the bigger the fish, the higher on the oceanic food chain, the more mercury.

These suckers had way too many health benefits for me to NOT give them a try.  I scoured the internet for some recipes but fell short.  Most people seemed to enjoy sardines as a snack, served with crackers and a bit of hot sauce. I was looking for something a bit more substantial.  I wanted to make them the showcase of the meal.  Pasta and sardines was a viable option, until I realized that I had nothing more than some bread, greens, one single egg and some condiments in my fridge.

I figured that canned tuna can make one hell of a sandwich in a pinch, so why not pile some sardines on some crusty bread? Add some grainy mustard, baby arugula, red onion and capers for a little bite and a hard boiled egg, because, well everything tastes better with an egg, and you're in business! This ended up being one of the best sandwiches I have had in a long time, and with the first bite, I instantly fell in love with sardines.

Sardine Sandwich
(Serves 1-2)

ciabatta bread
grainy mustard
sliced red onion
1 hard boiled egg, sliced
1 oil packed tin of sardines, drained, oil reserved
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Toast a couple decent sized pieces of bread. Slather on some mustard. Top with arugula, sliced hard boiled egg, sardines, a little red onion and some capers.  Drizzle with a little reserved oil from the sardines, a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

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