Looking for an easy + healthy appetizer recipe? This bright and tangy crostini is made with canned sardines, sherry pickled chiles and fresh herbs. Can swap in gluten-free or Paleo bread or crackers, if needed.
This post is sponsored by BELA Brand Seafood. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
Happy post-Thanksgiving friends! Hope y'all had a delicious holiday week filled with lots of love and laughter.
As the holiday season is coming in hot, you're likely gonna need a few appetizer recipes to bring with you to all those holiday parties you're attending/hosting this month.
And wouldn't it be just swell if that appetizer recipe could be easy to make? Healthy? Anti-inflammatory? Low calorie, low fat, and low carb? But high in protein and nutrients like Vitamin B12, Vitamin K, and Iron? Oh and how about mind-blowingly delicious?
All that and more can be yours if you make this canned sardines recipe, the perfect holiday crostini appetizer it's even tinted with the season's colors. Take a look:
How to Eat Canned Sardines
I know. If you've even read this far, you must really love sardines.
Sardines are a very divisive food. You either love them or hate them. And if you love them, like me, then the following persuasive essay slash cliche blogger bullet list is not meant for you.
If you hate them, or rather, if you think you hate them, please listen to my desperate plea for you to reconsider. Give them a try, just a little bitty, teeny weeny taste. I think you'll be surprised.
- Canned Sardines actually taste amazing–tangy and fresh, bright and light, and yet decidedly less fishy than you'd expect (canned sardines are also less fishy tasting than fresh sardines). The flesh is rich and oily, tender and delicious. I swear!
- Eating canned sardines is so good for you–you're providing your body with high-quality protein, selenium and iodine (both of which are super important for thyroid function), fat-soluble vitamin D (fish is one of the few food sources of Vitamin D, a nutrient that most people are deficient in), and, most importantly, omega-3 fatty acids, particularly polyunsaturated fatty acids, some of which are not made by the human body, meaning we HAVE TO get them from food.
- Sardines reduce inflammation, balance blood sugar levels, and improve mood, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and they're chockfull of vitamins and minerals that are proven to benefit everything from heart health to metabolism, cellular function to bone health.
- Unlike some other more controversial fish, like red snapper and swordfish, sardines are also extremely low in contaminants like mercury due to the fact that they’re at the bottom of the aquatic food chain and eat plankton, which means they do not carry toxins and heavy metals. (source) So yeah eating canned sardines is super good for you.
- Also, did I mention that canned sardines are easy to prepare, super versatile, and incredibly affordable? AND they're shelf-stable so you can stock up. What to do with canned sardines? Make a seafood salad in a matter of minutes, fry up a delicious seafood cake or fritters, toss them with some lemon-olive oil pasta, top your pizza with them, or (in the case of this post) garnish a crostini or cracker with a beautiful silvery piece of fish. I'll show you how below!
My Favorite Canned Sardines Recipe
Yes, there are a million and one ways to eat canned sardines, but my favorite has to be with something sharp and acidic, spicy and on a piece of toast or a cracker.
It's super easy to make, and it just tastes so fresh with tons of flavor and texture contrast, which you likely know by now is my jam.
I did a quick pickle of some Fresno chiles and jalapenos with a bit of Sherry vinegar–the acid and heat from this element helps tamper any fishiness from the sardines and keeps the recipe balanced.
Sprinkle some fresh herbs, mint and basil are classic, and you're in business.
I used a classic French baguette for this recipe–I know. It's not gluten-free or Paleo or vegan or any other trendy food buzzwords. And while I do often cook recipes that fit in those genres, sometimes you just want the real thing.
The base doesn't matter as much, honestly. It's really all about the sardines.
The Best Canned Sardines
My favorite brand of canned sardines comes from BELA Brand Seafood, who also sells tuna and mackerel. Sourced from centuries-old fisheries along the non-industrial European coastline, this family-owned seafood biz sells the ONLY Portuguese sardines on the market. AND they’re packed within 8 hours of catch, resulting in some uber fresh fish.
Plus, all of their seafood is full, premium filets (rather than those unappealing chopped up bits you find in most cans), and their canned sardines are MSC certified, Kosher, and come in delicious flavors packed fresh in organic extra virgin olive oil and organic sauces, like Lemon, Tomato, and Cayenne.
How cute are these sardine crostinis? Wouldn't they make the perfect holiday appetizer?
Festive, healthy, delicious, easy to make… what more could you want?
If you try this canned sardines crostini recipe, be sure to share a photo and tag me @rootandrevel on social media–I’d LOVE to see how it turned out for you!
Canned Sardines Crostini with Sherry Pickled Chiles + Herbs
- 1 baguette French bread or pre-cut crostini
- 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Fresno chiles sliced (can also use jalapenos)
- 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon organic coconut sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cans Bela sardines
- 3 tablespoons organic basil chiffonade
- 3 tablespoons organic mint minced
- Slice baguette into 1/2-inch thick slices (crostini). Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake at 400F for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.
- Meanwhile, add sliced chiles to a small glass bowl with Sherry vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Stir to combine and let sit to quick pickle.
- Top each crostini with a small piece of sardine filet. Add 1-2 pickled chiles on top. Garnish with basil and mint. Serve and enjoy!
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser
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