Online recipes can be so much fun! The inspiration for this dish came from a recipe on Serious Eats. I’m sure the recipe as it is presented is delicious, but you know how you get carried away with what you have on-hand and a creative flash as you putter in the kitchen.
Surprisingly, the blending of all these flavors created a whole new flavor. No one taste dominates here. The taste is complex and satisfying. You might even be able to sneak sardines into someone who vows to hate them.
Our preference is sardines packed in oil. Somehow we ended up with this large can packed in tomato sauce. I was mulling over how to use it when I found this recipe. I believe it will be a stunning meal either way: oil or tomato.
We ate our salad over noodles but it would be excellent instead with some crusty sourdough and plenty of butter.
Sardine Salad Ingredients
2 small cans of sardines or one large one
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup large black olives, cut in half
2 tomatoes cut into small cubes
3 cups torn arugula leaves
2 tablespoons minced fennel greens
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups wide rice noodle, cooked and hot (or use cooked fettuccine)
1 cup toasted pine nuts
4 sprigs of fennel greens
Sardine Salad Steps
Break up the sardines in a large mixing bowl. Scrape out the juices and oil from the can. This is part of the flavor.
Toss in the onion, garlic, olives, tomatoes and fennel greens. Handle the mixture lightly, but you want as even a mixing as possible.
Test for salt and pepper and make adjustments.
Pile the arugula leaves on top of the sardine mixture. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice. Toss lightly.
To serve, divide the noodles among four plates and top with the sardine mixture. Garnish with the pine nuts and fennel sprigs. You may want to drizzle on more olive oil if the salad looks dry. A shaving of Parmesan cheese would also go well with this dish.
The flavors are much better if this dish is hot or room temperature. Take that into consideration if you have leftovers.