Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Open Faced Sardine Toast

I recently launched a brunch menu at Trees Lounge.  One of the news items on the menu stands out and often gets rave reviews.  I call it Open Faced Sardine Toast.  I have yet to see sardines on any other menu so I have chosen to embrace them because of their uniqueness, flavor and health benefits. 
Sardines are small and delicious.  Packed full with vitamins and healthy omega-3 fatty acids among other things there is no wonder why sardines are considered one of the healthiest
fish.  They are low on the food chain so they contain little or no mercury, unlike larger fish which accumulate it over time eating lots of smaller fish.

Sardine Toast with roasted Red and Sweet Potatoes
I prefer eating sardines on toast so for this noisy food I toast rye bread covered in mustard, roasted red bell pepper, caramelized onions, sliced avocado and then covered with a slice of melted provolone cheese.    

I purchase the skinless boneless sardines in a can but in truth the sardines with the bones and skin are even healthier.  Fish bones are typically really healthy to eat.  The places in the world where people eat fish bones typically are the areas with the highest life expectancy. 

I love Jewish Rye bread for its sour dough flavor and the signature caraway seeds so I use it as the toast for this noisy food.  I also enjoy the complex flavors of Dark Rye bread so I will use it as well.  I always toast the bread before adding anything else on it so the wet ingredients do not make the toast soggy.  The crisp toast adds texture to the dish.  Once the bread is crispy and brown I spread a tablespoon of smooth Dijon mustard on one side.   I open the can of sardines and drain off the excess oil then crush the fishes into small pieces.  For additional flavor I slice an onion and caramelize it in a pan with a little vegetable oil.  I put a red bell pepper in the oven until the skin turns black then I peel off the outer skin, remove the seeds and inner membrane then slice the pepper in long julienne strips.  I add the pepper to the sandwich for color and flavor.  I add a quarter of an avocado cut into a fan so it covers all of the sandwich.  Lastly I place a slice of provolone cheese on top then bake the whole sandwich so it melts the cheese and bring out the aromatic flavors in the ingredients.  I like to serve the toast cut in half on an angle for aesthetics and to make it easier to eat.