If the idea of eating tiny cold fish from a tin doesn’t appeal to you, you’re not alone. When I mustered up the courage to open my first tin last summer I dreaded seeing fishy tails and heads staring up at me. This was not, of course, the case. The sardines actually came as fillets and looked a lot like a miniature version of any other fish I would buy fresh from the fish counter. Why, you might wonder, did I decide to try sardines in the first place? Well, for numerous reasons which I will detail below, sardines appear to be one of the healthiest fish, and foods for that matter, sold in supermarkets.
If you already know and love sardines, consider yourself lucky. These little fish are packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, bone-building mineral calcium, and calcium-enhancing vitamin D. They are a very inexpensive, easy-to-store, source of protein. You can eat them right out of the can and use them in anything you would use canned tuna for (such as on salads, in sandwiches, on crackers) but unlike tuna, sardines are very small fish and have less chance of accumulating biotoxins or being exposed to mercury.
As wonderful as the benefits of eating sardines sounded to me, the idea of eating them cold from a can still didn’t sound so tempting. I did a quick online search for sardine recipes and found one that showed them broiled for a few minutes with herbs and lemon juice. This, I decided, would make them taste the same as the other fish I knew and liked. The result: a success. Sardines are now a regular part of my menu. I still haven’t tried them cold but they are really very tasty when cooked and seasoned.
Try it At Home:
Buy a tin of sardines next time you visit the supermarket. (They are usually found near canned tuna.) To broil, set your oven on a high temp of 500ºF. Place the sardines on a baking tray and add olive oil, herbs (dill works well), a splash of lemon juice, and salt/pepper to taste. It only takes about 5-7 minutes for them to become slightly crisp.