Tins are so useful during lockdown and things on toast are always a comfort for lunch or a light supper.
Tinned sardines are practically a wonder food: an extremely economical store cupboard stand-by, sustainable and environmentally friendly, rich in vitamins and minerals including calcium, full of omega-3 fatty acids, and, because they are low in the food chain, low in mercury.
What more could you ask? And they are available in olive oil or tomato sauce, both good.
You can also buy those fabulous super-duper tins of sardine in best quality oil with lemon and blow-your-head-off whole chillies and what have you. Most come with pretty and colourful artwork on the tin. Utterly lovely but quite pricey, they are strictly for treats in our house!
Several years ago I helped out a few times a week at my friend Elodie’s café. The nicest place, it served brilliant coffee and speciality teas plus wonderful cakes, toasty snacks soups and great lunches. Everything was home- made. The customers were wonderful and the staff fantastic, we were a great team. Sadly now gone but never forgotten!
Elodie had a special way with sardines (in oil) on toast. Instead of just slapping them straight from the tin onto the toast, she would mash them in a bowl first with their oil and add black pepper and lemon juice. Spread right to the edges of the toast, they’d be popped under the grill
Serves 1 (or 2 with modest appetites)
Empty a 120g tin of sardines in oil, including the oil, into a bowl.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice and some freshly ground black pepper.
Mash with a fork.
Lightly toast 2 slices of bread and spread the sardines evenly over the top, right to the edges: there’s no need to butter.
Pop under the grill until heated through and golden.
Serve on a warmed plate with tomato ketchup on the side and a cup of strong tea.
You can do the same with sardines in tomato sauce: no need for ketchup and you may like to butter the toast first.