IMBB #25 - Stale Bread and Smoked Sardines
Derrick, of AnObsessionwithFood, is host of the current Is My blog Burning event.
The IMBB#25 theme - Use of Stale Bread.
When faced with a meal when one has to dine alone, I usually prepare myself a quick sandwich. As a purist, I must have fresh bread as the base of my foundation. I’m known for my sandwiches. Simple as they may be, they are a compilation of several layers of flavors. They are, if you will, dimensions of delight.
My darling hubby is away on a visit to his mother. He is a good son, after all. He phones his Mom at least once a week to share what new adventures he encounters in the countryside and the world of art. Every few weeks or so, he’ll take the 2 hour trek south to her home near Stanford. It was after one of his visits with my MIL that he brought home a delectable delicacy - Portuguese Smoked Sardines in olive oil.
Since it’s only me at home, I made dinner with a swift streak of brilliance. Use up the rest of the rustic walnut loaf left over from my last meal with Darling Hubby. I perused our well stocked pantry, spotted a can of white beans and pulled out a can of the Portuguese Smoked Sardines. I peeked into the fridge to see what I had as “fillers”. I spied a few stalks of celery, a bunch of flat-leaf parsley. a couple of tomatoes and a bright, yellow, Meyer lemon. My counter basket cradled a few shallots and several bulbs of garlic we grew last season. Keeping with the Mediterranean theme, I selected a sublime Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil. My palette was ready. I took slices of the rustic loaf and placed them in the toaster oven.
The recipe is nothing new, just a version of another. A few of you may identify the ingredients with a familiar Italian, more precisely, Sicilian Tonno Bean salad. The short meal was also reminiscent of bruschetta or crostini. What’s the difference between a bruschetta and a crostini? It’s the size, my friends. The former being the largest of the two. Bruschetta, pronounced “broosh-ketta”, is more fitting as an appetizer or tapa-type dish. Crostini are teenie-weenie slices that are more suitable for easy hand-held hors d’oeuvres. Bruschetta is usually toasted, then rubbed with garlic and anointed with olive oil. Crostini are brushed with olive oil, then toasted.
What I liked most about this dish was it did not need any further chill time. It was good to go with the last flick of folding all the ingredients into a nice mélange of mouth-watering mainstay of a meal.
White Bean Sardine Salad
1 – 4 oz. can of Portuguese Smoked Sardine in olive oil
1 – 15 oz. can of white beans, rinse and drain well
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 shallot, finely minced
2 small tomatoes, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery heart, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Juice of half a lemon
2 -3 Tbl. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or (can be combined with olive oil from sardines)
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Slices of toasted rustic bread – bruschetta or crostini
Remove Portuguese Smoked Sardines from can and set on dish. Combine all remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over ingredients. Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil and/or olive oil from sardine can. Fold over and mix ingredients until blended well. Add coarse salt and cracked pepper to taste.
On prepared bruschetta or crostini, place enough white bean salad to cover surface. Lay Portuguese Smoked Sardine on top of heap.
Okay. So, I admit, as a purist, this is not much of a sandwich as a traditionalist may define it as such. However, I would consider this bruschetta or crostini as an open-faced sandwich.
How’s that for a good use of stale bread?