This appetizer is one of my favorites yet it contains two of my most disliked ingredients. Sardines and Fennel.
To tell you the truth, I don’t know if I’m 100% sold on sardines, even as I sit here recalling how delicious this appetizer was. I flatout hated everything about them as a kid. The smell, salty and briney and not at all appetizing, was the major reason for me being put off. Then There is the fennel. I can honestly say that fennel didn’t make it onto any plate I ate until about 2014.
Crostini is just a fancy way of saying sliced and toasted bread. I used a french baguette.
The salad portion of this dish was actually part of a Christmas dinner I had been invited to a few years ago. Our hosts had made a plethora of small plates and appetizers to keep guests occupied until the main course was ready. I was amazed at how well the simple ingredients came together. I used the salad as a bed for the sardines on top of the crostini.
2 Matiz Gallego Sardines
fennel, sliced thinly
granny smith apple, sliced thinly
red chili flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
Slice the baguette diagonally to make crostini. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt before placing in the oven. You can do all the bread at once so that you’re just assembling each appetizer afterwards.
Lets start with the salad because the sardines go from tin to plate so there isn’t much we need to do there. Thinly slice the fennel and apple. Toss both with lots of arugula.
Next, time to make the dressing. Take the juice of half a lemon and squeeze it into a small bowl. Add olive oil and honey and whisk until blended. Pour dressing over salad and toss again.
Open your tin of sardines and drain the oil, we won’t be using it. Pull the fish from the tin a lay them on plate. You may need to cut some of them to et aside. I like this specific brand because the sardines are wild, sustainably harvested and they’re GMO and Gluten free. So if you decided to skip the baguette and substitute the bread, at least the sardines aren’t an issue. Plus, if they’re good enough for Renee Erickson, they’re good enough for me.
Layer the salad atop the crostini, making sure each bite has enough fennel and apple, and then the sardines. sprinkle with red chili flakes and serve.
Let me know if you end up trying this recipe at home!
Also, you can click here for my Warm Figs, Honey and Chèvre recipe! The perfect sweet snack or party appetizer!