Tag Archives: Quick

Fall in Love with Sardines, Save Dinner

Bela Sardines. Photo by James Ransom for Food52

Bela Sardines. Photo by James Ransom for Food52

When I was a wee little one, I remember my dad coming in from an afternoon tending to his garden and popping open a can of sardines for lunch. Curious about these little guys, I was not. Usually his offer to share a bite was met with a prompt and firm “ewwwww, no.”

It’s taken me 30 years to question why these cans of conveniently packed, flavorful little fiddies get such a bum rap. I don’t think twice when cranking a can of tuna open to save the day when I have nothing in the fridge for lunch. I recently read an article by Nicholas Day on Food52 speaking the praises of sardines — in his case because it conveniently saves dinner in a pinch for his own children. He feeds his kids sardines? This made me take pause. Well why not.

And then I was contacted by BELA Sardines to see if their cans of fresh-packed {within 8 hours of being caught and never frozen} Portuguese sardines would be something we would be interested in selling in the Food52 shop. We popped a few cans open at the office, broke out the crackers and started snacking. They were good — really, really good. Each is slightly smoked and packed in either Portuguese extra virgin olive oil or tomato sauce {4 flavors to choose from}. Beyond just the flavor, there are other reasons to love these little guys — they’re low-mercury, sustainably caught, and full of healthy fats. They are a pantry staple everyone should pile high.

I’m a convert. To be perfectly honest, I would be happy opening a can of these, pouring a nice glass of wine and calling that alone a mid-week meal. But it doesn’t take much to use them in a slightly more creative way, with still minimal effort, and have a dish to be proud of. Go ahead, give sardines a chance — you may be surprised by a new love.

Need a Little Inspiration?
Linguine with Sardines, Fennel & Tomato
Sardines, Avocado and Radish Salad with Upland Cress
Sardine Butter

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recipe goodness :: farro salad with steamed kale and roasted pinenuts

Farro Salad w/ Steamed Kale and Roasted Pine Nuts

I was at the farmer’s market recently and with the winter veg dwindling, I grabbed a bunch of kale and thought I would experiment with a green that I don’t normally cook with. Kale is one of the veggies that I want to add to my “I need more of this in my life” list. It has cancer-fighting properties is great for detoxing the body — just what I need after a late Saturday night. Everything else I just grabbed out my cupboard and fridge and threw together a lovely nutty and bright dish that is great on a cold winter’s night or as a cold salad on a warm day.

Farro Salad with Steamed Kale and Roasted Pine Nuts

Serves 4 | Time: 20 minutes

1 cup farro
1 bunch kale, stems removed
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 lemon
olive oil {equal parts to lemon juice}
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan for grating

  1. Pour farro into medium saucepan and cover with cold water until an inch above the grains. Let soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain farro and recover with cold water. Add a generous amount of kosher salt and bring to boil.
  3. Lower heat to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes.
  4. While farro is cooking, wash and dry kale. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Juice half a lemon into a glass measuring cup and add the same amount of olive oil. Add salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste. Set aside.
  6. In a small dry pan, toast pine nuts until light brown and remove from heat.
  7. After farro has cooked for 10 minutes, add kale to the pot on top of the farro and recover for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. After 5 minutes, turn off heat and check to be sure kale is bright green and tender and farro is cooked, but still has an al dente bite. If more time is needed, cover the pot off the heat for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  9. Drain farro and kale and transfer to a large bowl.
  10. Pour lemon and olive oil over salad and toss to mix. Serve in a bowl with grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

I Need More of This in My Life:
Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Breadcrumbs
Savory Cauliflower Fried Rice
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table

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