Sardine Rillettes

I am so excited to share this recipe with you today!  I know, I know…sardines.  I have to admit that this little fish came into my life only recently and with some hesitation on my part.  I knew that sardines were supposed to be one of the safest and most sustainable seafood choices on the market.  I also was aware that they were one of the best sources of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids available.  And compared to wild Alaskan salmon (another healthy and sustainable option), they are a steal.  But, still, I wasn’t sure I was ready to venture into sardine territory.

Then, canned sardines went on sale at the grocery store and I decided it was now or never.  I bought 2 cans.  The first can was used to make fisherman’s eggs, which is basically a hot dish of sardines topped with baked eggs.  It was pretty good, but I can’t say I was completely won over.  The sardine rillettes won me over.  Think of it as a pate that you can serve on crackers or toast.  It’s deliciously creamy with little bites of shallots and herbs and a nice briny flavor from the sardines.  A little bit of lemon juice freshens everything up.  That’s the fancy description.  Another way to think of the taste is that it’s kind of like tuna salad, all grown up.

I enjoyed mine spread generously on some gluten-free multi-grain bread from a local bakery.  It’s also nice to have a little sprinkle of fleur de sel for the top and perhaps some pickled vegetables (I used some peperoncini but there are probably better options).

And so, I would like to present to you…sardines that I think you will like!

Sardine Rillettes
makes about 1/2 cup
adapted from Simply Recipes

– One 4.3 oz can sardines, packed in olive oil (I used Wild Planet brand)
– 1/3 cup cream cheese
– 1 shallot, finely minced
– 1 scallion, finely chopped, white and light green parts only
– juice from half a lemon
– about a tsp each of fresh chives and parsley, finely chopped

Place all ingredients except sardines in to a bowl and mix with a spoon until smooth.

Remove tails from sardines, if necessary.  Split them down the center and remove the backbone.  Note: While I’ve learned that I like the taste of sardines, I can’t say the same about their smell on my hands hours after I’ve eaten them.  Try to avoid getting too much oil on your hand to avoid this problem.  Or you could use gloves if you have some.

Add sardines to cream cheese mix.  Using a fork, break them up and stir them in.  Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


5 thoughts on “Sardine Rillettes

  1. Thanks for sharing! I’m DEFINITELY making this—I have a can of sardines in my cupboard waiting for me to have the guts to eat it! I really want to….but hadn’t thought of the cream cheese addition—that sounds like a perfect complement to any potential fishy-ness that I’m hesitating about! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Dinner for Two, By Two « bondotmom

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