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AB’s sardine toast

We tried Alton Brown’s Sherried Sardine Toast yesterday. Because it yielded four servings, we halved the recipe for two; also, because we decided to make it at the last minute, we didn’t let it sit for a while to let the flavors combine. It was still tasty. The avocado provided a thick creamy texture, which was good with the salty bite of the sardines.

The recipe is as follows, though I’ve marked our substitutions. (I do fully intend to try this recipe as written, but I try not to let lack of a few nonessential ingredients stop me from trying a new recipe.)

Alton Brown’s Sardine Toast

2 (3.75-ounce 2-layer) tins brisling sardines in olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley leaves, divided (we used garlic sprouts*)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar)
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, reserve the lemon and cut into 4 wedges
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (1/2-inch) thick slices crusty bread, such as sourdough, country loaf or rye
1 ripe Hass avocado
Coarse sea salt

Drain the oil from 1 tin of sardines into a small bowl and set aside. Drain the oil from the other tin into another small bowl and whisk in 1 tablespoon of parsley, vinegar, lemon zest, and black pepper, to taste. Add the sardines, stir to combine and set aside for up to 1 hour.

After 45 minutes, put a rack 3-inches from the broiler and heat the oven to the broiler setting on high. Brush each slice of bread on 1 side with the reserved oil. Put the bread, oil side up, onto a cooling rack set inside a half sheet pan and broil 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. (Since I had only one tin, I just brushed the bread with a little oil, and used the rest for the sardine dressing; the bread got toasted in the toaster oven.)

Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Smash the flesh in each half with a fork.

Spread the avocado evenly onto the toasted bread. Top evenly with the sardines. Pour any remaining dressing on top and garnish with the remaining parsley.

Season lightly with sea salt and serve with lemon wedges. (I served up the extra half-an-avocado alongside. Mmm, avocado.)

*garlic sprouts! I had always heard before to discard the green sprout that comes up out of garlic cloves, but one of our older relatives was actually cultivating them. So we did the same; we put an ordinary bulb of garlic in a shallow bowl of water. In no time at all, the roots started to grow like crazy, and the green sprouts came shooting straight up out of the cloves. Snipped up into omelets or whatever else, the sprouts produce a great garlic flavor with very little fuss. It’s like having garlicky chives growing in the house.

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