Open-Face Sardine Sandwiches with Tangy Aioli

“Before she opened her iconic New York restaurant, Prune, Gabrielle Hamilton and I worked together in catering,” says F&W’s Grace Parisi. “Her signature dish, sardines on Triscuits (a cheap snack she ate in college), is both legendary and notorious. She taught me that it’s OK—admirable, even—to cook the food you grew up eating.”


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • Two 4-ounce cans brisling sardines in oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pickled hot chiles
  • 1 large radish, cut into fine matchsticks ( 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Four large 3/4-inch-thick slices of peasant bread

How to make this recipe

  1. In a bowl, combine the sardines, onion, chiles, radish, lemon juice and parsley.

  2. In a small bowl, using the back of a spoon, mash the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Whisk in the mayonnaise, mustard and the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season the aioli with salt.

  3. Preheat the broiler. Brush the bread on both sides with olive oil and broil, turning once, until lightly toasted. Transfer the toasts to a work surface and spread with the aioli. Mound the sardine mixture on top, cut each toast in half and serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

Fresh, lemony white such as an Albariño.

Contributed By Photo © Sally Gall Published January 2012

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