Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Avocado and Sardines - really?!

Avocado and sardine sandwich? Ugh, doesn't that sound totally unappealing, like some type of diabolic dietary punishment? But that item has been all over the internet lately, in blogs and on YouTube, and I just couldn't resist trying it,  at least once. The two ingredients are so distinctive in texture, so different in taste - who came up with this combo? Answer: Alton Brown, the Good Eats guru on TV's FoodNetwork.

Tasting notes:
The original recipe called for flat leaf parsley. I didn’t have any fresh parsley on hand so I substituted fennel fronds. Italian parsley has a bite, fennel fronds have a hint of licorice. They are quite different, but it worked. The sandwich benefitted from the added sparkle of lemon zest and lemon juice and was actually quite tasty. 

On my second try I made it tuna-salad style, smooshing together the sardines, oil, lemon zest and juice with minced parsley and chopped green salad onions. It tasted pretty much the same as the first batch.

Next I made a guacamole-style spread with the avocado, some drained oil, parsley, lemon zest and juice to spread on the bread slices. I topped this with sardine slices.  This was my least favorite version - the feeling of those tiny bones and bristles hitting my mouth first was not a positive experience. 

No, I wouldn't eat it every day (or even every week) but I will prepare it and enjoy it again. That said, you won't find it at my house served to the Ladies Who Lunch... not ever... not even if they are culinary adventurers.

Sardine Avocado Sandwiches
- makes 2 open-faced sandwiches -
Adapted from Good Eats via a post on SeriousEats

1 (3.75-ounce) tin sardines in olive oil
1 TB finely chopped parsley
 (I substituted fennel fronds)
Zest and juice from one medium lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

2 slices good bread (I used sour rye, he used sourdough)

1/2 ripe avocado, peeled, pit removed, sliced into thin wedges
Sea salt (optional)

Procedure (very loosely adapted from the original)
1. Drain the oil from the sardines into a small bowl and add the parsley, lemon juice and zest, and black pepper. Stir to blend.
2. Add the sardines and stir but don’t smoosh. Let sit for a bit to flavor the fish.
3. Toast the bread in a toaster or on a grill.
4. Drain the sardines, saving the liquid. Now it’s time to smoosh these guys (gently) on top of the two bread slices. Arrange the avocado slices on top of the fish.
5. Pour any remaining sardine oil dressing on top. Season with sea salt (optional).

1 comment:

  1. Update: I HAVE enjoyed this avocado/sardine combo often in the 3 years since I first posted it. It has been an easy and tasty way to grab a quick, healthy breakfast with a good hit of protein... and YES, it tastes better than it looks or sounds.


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