By Chef LAM/Images © Leigh-Ann Martin

Nothing compares to fresh sardine fillets served up just right – tossed in pasta with capers, garlic and parsley or fried crispy and eaten with intensely spicy curry sauces. I love the latter! But for my single life cooking, canned sardines is a must and is transformed into fabulous breakfast and dinner meals.

I know many of us have been scarred by some ‘sinister’ dishes (sardine for some) our grandparents and parents cooked for us as children that we vowed as adults never to eat again. But I’ll tell you something – the source and preparation of sardines can change your outlook. With the below recipes and tips I hope to sway you and bring you back to the bright side of canned sardines.

On the plus side, sardines may be small but they are rich in protein, amino and fatty acids. The Wild Planet brand of sardines that I use are sustainably caught and packed in water, which means that they contain less sodium than those packed in oil and have absolutely no fishy smell.

Canned sardines are cooked so if a recipe calls for it to be cooked further I make sure it’s the last thing to hit the pan.

Breakfast/Brunch

Sardines and Roasted Red Pepper Toast

Sardines and Roasted Red Pepper Toast
Image © Leigh-Ann Martin

What better way to eat canned sardines for breakfast if not on toast? And these opened-faced sandwiches have deliciously plagued our timelines on social media. The professional chef and home cook alike are imagining beautifully presented toast with carefully cut and shaped fruits and vegetables. Towering high or spread low on hearty bread – oh how in love I am with the movement! I jumped on the bandwagon with the help of Wild Planet canned sardines and a homemade roasted red pepper spread to prepare my take on a sardine toast. Get the recipe here.

Dinner

Ma’s Sardine Fillets with Tomatoes and Onions

Sardine Fillets with Tomatoes and Onions
Image © Leigh-Ann Martin

Sardines with tons of tomatoes, onions, lime or lemon juice is the easiest way to eat and serve sardines. Growing up in Trinidad, we ate this all the time for dinner. Ha! That was back when my Ma stretched one can of sardine by adding tons of onions and tomatoes to feed four mouths. The below is how I make my Ma’s inexpensive recipe. Eaten solo with bread or Crix, or served to friends as an antipasto alongside a cheese plate, sliced cucumbers, watercress and eaten with pita chips. Get the recipe here.

RECIPES IN THIS POST:
Sardines and Roasted Red Pepper Toast
Ma’s Sardine Fillets with Tomatoes and Onions