Sardines, these oily-rich, small, silvery, saltwater fish, are named after the Italian island, Sardinia.
The soft-bone fish is considered to be at the bottom of the aquatic food chain, as they only eat plankton. This means they don’t have the heavy metal toxicity levels, such as, mercury, found in larger fish. Sardines are a nutritional powerhouse! They are loaded with essential omega-3 fatty acids. Ounce for ounce, sardines provide more calcium and phosphorous than milk, more iron than spinach, more potassium than bananas and coconut water and as much protein as steak.
If you have never eaten sardines and not sure if you will like them, give this recipe a try. The sardines are whole, meaty and not at all fishy. (I use canned Wild Planet). The crisp, delicate taste of fresh fennel slices and sweet juicy tomatoes tossed with a splash of red wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil is a perfect combination.
This recipe is for one. During the summer I enjoy it at least twice a week. Traditionally, this salad is made with a red wine vinegar, however this year I have discovered a Sicilian lemon white balsamic that is delightful.
- 1 tin (4.375 ounces) Sardines, packed in extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb
- Handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
- Extra-virgin olive oil (Robust)
- Red wine vinegar
- 1/2 of a lemon
- With a sharp knife, cut a thin slice off the stem end of the fennel bulb and discard. Remove the stalks and fronds by cutting about 1-inch above the fennel bulb. Discard.
- Cut the bulb in half lengthwise from top to stem end. The core is tough so, remove and discard. Place the bulb cut-side down and cut into thin slices. Depending on the size of the bulb, you may wish to use only half. Transfer fennel to a bowl and add the tomatoes and sardines with some of their oil.
- Toss with splashes of vinegar, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and some robust extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with bruscetta and a refreshing limonata!