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The Green Life: 4 Reasons to Go Green With Sardines

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October 28, 2008

4 Reasons to Go Green With Sardines

Sardines-with-herbs Let’s talk about my lunch. I’m going to try really hard to get through this post without eating it, but I’m getting hungry already just thinking about my--wait for it--fresh sardine sandwich. Yup, that’s what I said, and while you may not know it yet, you wish you had one too. Here are just a few of the things it has going for it:

It’s cheap. Fresh sardines were selling in my local fish market for $1.49 per pound yesterday. You only need one or two for your sandwich--even devotees like myself don’t go in for fishy quarter-pounders. So you do the math.

It’s sustainable. While sardines were overfished in the past, they are now plentiful in the wild, earning a “best choice” rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

It’s healthy. Sardines are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamin D. They’re also one of the few natural foods that contain cult nutrient coenzyme Q-10.  

It’s delicious. True, sardine isn’t the mildest fish, but do you want an interesting sandwich or not? Here’s what to do: Fillet the little guys, dredge ‘em in milk, and dust with some combination of flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Fry briefly in hot olive oil, about two minutes to a side. (I recommend using a fan if you have one.) Drain on a paper towel, then slap on a halved baguette slathered with Dijon mustard, top with lettuce (or, better yet, bitter greens like arugula or mustard), and you’re there. The Dijon and greens complement the sardines’ strong taste.

OK, post over. So is the sandwich. Dang that was good!

--Paul Rauber

Share your tips and recipes: What is your favorite sustainable seafood recipe? How did you green your lunch today?

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