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Drain the sardines, reserving the oil‡.
Plate them in a shallow bowl and sprinkle with smoked salt flakes, Aleppo pepper, and fresh olive oil.
Serve with toast and optionally a few pickles.
* I love the sardines from Angelo Parodi, Matíz, and Pinhais (which also produces the Nuri brand). Most grocery stores will carry at least one brand and you can also find them online if you can't find them locally.
‡ I find that serving sardines with fresh oil my preference, but the oil they come in is full of flavor so don't throw it away. Use it to make a warm vinaigrette for some olives. Add it bagna cauda. Drizzle a bit on top of pasta puttanesca to add extra depth.
• Change the spices, change your meal. Try a bit of the oil from some preserved lemons, plus a pinch or two of Cataluña N22. Feeling adventurous? A spoonful of Brinjal Caponata and a bit of sheep's milk ricotta is amazing. Or try slices of fresh avocado, a bit of citrus, and our Shabazi N38 blend.
• If sardines are too fishy for you try the exact same prep as above but with oil-canned tuna. I like the small Portuguese cans as they are a perfect serving, not to mention some of the best in the world.
• If you don't have bread handy some nice crackers are a great match. Or try potato chips for a crunchy and flavorful accompaniment. When I use chips I don't usually drain the fish as I find they go great with the richer tasting oil. Keep an eye out for another fun snack recipe in the vein.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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