So there’s this really great sandwich shop in my town. It’s called “Sandwhich” because the Moroccan dude who owns it, who used to cook at Union Square Cafe in Manhattan, is named Hich. His are special sandwiches, filled with locally-sourced ingredients and made with a lot of care. They are not cheap, but I think perhaps we as a society ought to spend a little extra dinero when it comes to what we put into our bodies. And this brings me to sardines. Honestly, I always thought the silvery, slippery little devils were nasty. But then I read a whole bunch of info about how good they are for you, stocked as they happen to be with omega-3s. And then my outstanding sandwich shop happened to put this on the menu, and now I like sardines. I can’t say they’re not an acquired taste, but I find the oily saltiness of them very appealing. If you are within 100 miles of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, you should change your mind about sardines right here, right now. If you are not, click through for the recipe. It won’t change your life, but it will change your mind.
For the vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 French baguette
1 cup arugula
2 medium local tomatoes, sliced
8 ounces (2 cans) good-quality marinated sardines
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
pickled red chiles, optional
To make lemon vinaigrette, fill a jar with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Close lid on jar and shake until well incorporated. Cut the baguette in half lengthwise. Cut out or pull out the interior of the baguette and discard. Generously drizzle the vinaigrette to taste on half the baguette. Place tomato slices on top, seasoning with salt and pepper. Then cover with arugula. Add chiles and onions to taste. Place sardines on top and push down gently.
Drizzle vinaigrette over the interior of the other half of bread. Place bread on top, cut in half (or in as many pieces as you’d like).
Note: Leftover vinaigrette will keep for several days and can be used on just about anything savory.