I know, I know. Most of you might turn your noses up (literally) at the thought of consuming any amount of canned/tinned fish product.
I used to be just like you. Then I moved to Paris and developed a lifelong appreciation for them. When I got pregnant with my first son, I remember devouring entire cans in a single sitting. These little fish pack a huge punch of nutrients, namely Omega 3’s and calcium, due to the fact that you’re eating the entire preserved fish, skin and bones and all!
What’s more, they are so inexpensive at the store, are on sale often, and due to their small size are not a worry for mercury.
In my live video today, I’m going to be showing you a quick way to make a tuna salad-type recipe using sardines instead. We’ll cover the basics of what to look for when buying and how different flavorings can affect your final product or dish.
While we’ve been enjoying tinned fish for years, I stumbled upon this article over the weekend in which the Washington Post covers the hottest food trends, and canned fish salad is one of them!
I know that “canned fish salad” is not a very sexy phrase, but hear me out. This is not your water-packed StarKist: It’s a higher-quality fish with vegetables, herbs and spices, and if you bring a tin of it with a crusty roll, you’ll have a perfectly good meal. Sardines have been getting trendier, and the brand Season is on the bandwagon, offering a sardine salad kit in three flavors: lemon veggie, Mediterranean and “sweet & spicy.” The kits come with a spoon and crackers. A new company called Freshé has four flavors of tinned tuna salad: Sicilian caponata, Aztec insalada, Provence Nicoise and Thai sriracha, all packed full of veggies in an attractively designed can. Its fish salads are made in Portugal, which is where some of the best tinned seafood in the world originates.
Hear us out, too!
At most of the stores we represent, canned fish can be found on sale and comes in a wide array of flavors, included simply smoked (my personal favorite). Follow along with our video and check out the recipe below for my preference on enjoying sardines the French way.
French Lentil Salad with Smoked Fish or Fire Roasted Tomatoes
Yield 8-10 servings
This was a staple for me when I lived in France. If you don't like smoked fish, try 'em anyway--this flavor combo is perfect. If you really don't like them, substitute in some delicious fire roasted tomatoes.
2 cans lentils, rinsed and drained
2 carrots, diced into pea-sized shapes
2 stalks celery, diced into pea-sized shapes
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp smoked sea salt *optional
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
1-2 cans favorite smoked fish (sardines, trout, oysters)*
Dijon mustard, to taste
1 loaf or box of your Favorite bread or cracker (if using bread, sliced into rounds and toast into crostini)
*If vegan or vegetarian, substitute 1 small can of fire roasted tomatoes for a smoky, toothsome addition.
- Drain and rinse lentils and pour into a large bowl.
- Add carrots and celery to the lentils. Mix them in well.
- Toss everything with sea salt, garlic powder and olive oil.
- Prepare crackers or bread and serve by smearing a small amount of mustard on crackers, then top with lentils and smoked fish*. This dish would go well with any leftover greens and can also be made into a soup if desired simply by adding water and cooking to reheat.
*If you’d like to replace the smoked fish with tomatoes, simply spoon a small amount on for each serving.
This dish is great just as a salad over greens, so if you’ve got any leftover, prepare it this way. My personal favorite way to enjoy this dish is just as is: lentils+carrots+celery in the vinaigrette that is prepared at the beginning of the recipe.