Sardines with Sauce Verte
After giving birth, my doctor reminded me on multiple occasions to get enough calcium in my diet to support my own bone health. Of course, drinking milk and eating dairy products such as cheese and yogurt goes without saying. Another calcium supplement I like every now and then is sardines. They are tasty and very nutritious. I've always loved eating the bones, which are an excellent source of calcium. Unlike swordfish or King mackerel, sardines have a much lower mercury content.
In this recipe I served the sardines on a bed of Parmesan crisps and flavored them with sauce verte. The green sauce is a very pleasant complement to the fish. It's made of green olives, capers, cornichons (tiny French gherkin pickles), lemon, garlic, Dijon mustard and extra-virgin olive oil. Next time you're looking for a snack packed with omega-3's and lean protein, you might consider making yourself this sardine treat.
Yields: 4 servings1 (4-ounce) package Parmesan crisps
1 (3.75-ounce) can sardines in oil
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, to taste
1 bunch curly parsley
1 clove pickled garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup Greek green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 French gherkin pickles (cornichons), drained
1 Meyer lemon, freshly squeezed
¼ teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the sauce verte: Sprinkle the sea salt over the parsley and pickled garlic. Using a sharp Chef's knife, finely chop until the mixture is very fine and becomes almost like a purée. The addition of the sea salt helps to get the right texture. Add the cornichons, capers and olives. Coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl; add mustard, a squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil. Stir well. Transfer to a jar, cover with a drizzle of olive oil and store in the refrigerator; it will store up to 2 weeks.
For the sardines: Coat the sardines with the sauce verte and chill in the refrigerator, covered for 30 minutes.
Assembly time: Place the Parmesan crisps onto a serving platter. Top with the sardines (I divided them in half lenghthwise). Spoon on a little more sauce verte.
I use parsley stems as well as the leaves, because that's where the flavor is the most potent. If you don't have any curly parsley, you can use other herbs such as cilantro, flat-leaf parsley or basil.
I got lazy but I should have blanched the parsley for a brighter green color. Simply dip fhe parsley in boiling water for 10 seconds then transfer to an ice-cold bath the parsley; drain and pat dry on a paper towel and roughly chop.
Pickled garlic has a much milder taste. You can find it any most Asian markets.
I used store-bought Parmesan crisps. You could use other crackers or make your own.Published By: on March 1, 2012.