In homage to my new haircut and the crisp seas I’d like to try out a new and delicious fish dish that is O so easy to prepare withno fuss ingredients.
So lets start by admitting that everyone absolutely loves small flavorful plates! Tapas style plates are delicious smaller morsels of food that are easily shared and enjoyed by a party of friends.
The idea for this flavor combustion of ingredients came from my experience as a little girl eating tin cans of sardines in a tomato sauce with lots of black pepper with translucent slivers of onions and aromatic garlic. The oily and meaty Sardine can be a hard thing for people to consider eating, especially canned ones. Good sardines can give a lively yet flavorful bounty of fish flavor without the horrible smell or taste so often associated with overripe fish. They aren’t bad, in fact they smell and taste rather clean and not very salty. It’s a great item to have in your pantry. I love them! This became an extremely quick-lunch today. I served this along some long slivers of sweet carrots and fennel tossed simply with olive oil and a bit of sea salt, it was a perfect and extremely tasty meal for 2. Can serve 3-4 as an appetizer.
Sardine in salsa di pomodori con i fagioli bianchi e le erbe (Translates into Sardines with tomatoes and white beans with herbs)
1 Tin Can Sardines packed in Olive Oil (drained)
1/2 Yellow Onion (sliced in wedges along the grain 1/3 of an inch thick.)
2 med cloves garlic
1 T Parsley chopped
5 medium leaves of Basil (rough chopped)
2 round slices from a lemon
Toasted rustic loaf slices
1/2 can white beans
1/2 cup white wine
2 med tomatoes (roughly diced)
7-8 Kalamata olives (pitted and rough chopped)
1 tsp. Paprika
Heat up pan on high and sweat the onions and garlic 3-4 minutes turn down heat to medium. Add the tomatoes, the cayenne and paprika. Add the white wine and simmer.
Add 1/2 a cup of water. Add your drained sardines and olives. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the lemon and simmer for 10 minutes then add beans. Do not over stir, just to heat beans through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Softly simmer for another 6-8 minutes. Toast some nice 1/2″ slices of a rustic white bread. Lay bread nicely on a platter and douse with a flavorful olive oil. Pour the Sardines and tomato sauce over the bread and sprinkle with the rough chopped herbs. You can remove the large rounds or coins of lemons but its nice to see them on the plate. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve.
I can already tell that Sardines will continue to be a part of my diet for years to come. This version is a bit of a change from the childhood sardines that I am normally used to. I incorporated the creamy body of the beans along the savory zing of the olives and lemons for a bit of brightness.
I remember one lovely afternoon while watching the waves while all bundled up at the beach, my pastry chef reintroduced me to those wonderful meaty chunks reminding me how lovely preserved items can be.
And one of my all time favorite songs!