I learned to love sardines on my first visit to Lagos, in the Portugese Algarve. I had met Canadian, Barry and American, Jim in Seville and after a few days Barry convinced me I needed to go to the Portugese coast with them. One of the first things we did was take a boat ride, our guide could not say much in English but he was able to show us we were in Sardine Bay. Teaming schools of fish followed our boat and swam along us in the pristine blue waters.
- Two 3 3/4 ounce cans of sardines, packed in olive oil, King Oscar are my favorite
- 1/2 cup Chevre
- 1/4 cup minced red onions
- 1-2 scallions (green onions), white and light green parts only (about 3 inches from root), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise
- The juice of one lemon
- 1 tbsp Fines Herbs
- Pinch of white pepper
Remove the sardines from the cans. Using a small, sharp knife, carefully open each one down the belly and back, folding them open to expose the backbone. Remove and discard the bones. Cut away and discard any tails. Set aside. 2 Place the cream cheese or Neufchâtel in a medium bowl. Fold and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the shallots, scallions, fresh herbs, and most of the lime or lemon juice, mixing into the cheese with the spatula. 3 Add the now boneless sardines to the cheese mixture. Use a fork to smash the sardines and stir into the cheese. Add cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. Add more lime or lemon juice to taste. Either serve immediately (Dorie suggests chilling at least 2 hours, but I haven't found that necessary), or chill. Can make up to two days ahead if you carefully cover with plastic wrap so there is no exposure to air, and chill. Serve on crackers, bread, celery sticks, or as a stuffing for cherry tomatoes.
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Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini