5 Ingredients or Fewer

Sardine Butter

February 28, 2012
4 Ratings
Photo by Nicole Franzen
Author Notes

When I asked my boyfriend, an avid lover of seafood of all kinds, what I should make for this contest, he quickly and enthusiastically answered, “sardine butter!” Eaten on toast as an hors d’oeuvre or starter, it is the love child of two ingredients beloved by people from his region of France: sea salt-laced butter, and sardines. As a bonus, it is really easy to make and store. —Cristina Sciarra

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: cristinasciarra lives in Brooklyn, is getting her MFA in writing, and loves to travel.
WHAT: A simple French-inspired butter of sardines with a kiss of lemon and chives for depth.
HOW: Mashing the butter and sardines takes nothing but a fork -- no special equipment required!
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is butter with some body, able to stand up to the crustiest bread and sturdiest cracker. It keeps well, too! —The Editors

  • Serves about 6 people
  • 1.25 sticks/10 tablespoons salted butter, slightly softened (If you can find butter with actual crystals of salt, even better)
  • 1 can good quality sardines, packed in oil (either use boneless or debone yourself!)
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • about a tablespoon of minced chives
  • freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe
  1. Place the softened butter in a medium bowl. Drain the sardines, and add them to the bowl. Use a fork to mash the butter and the sardines together. Have fun!
  2. After a minute, add the lemon juice. Keep mashing until incorporated. At the last minute, add the chives, and some black pepper.
  3. Move the butter to a ramekin, or roll it in plastic to form a log. Refrigerate it for at least an hour or so.
  4. Serve the sardine butter with toast.

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Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.