Sardine, Avocado and Radish Salad with Upland Cress

September  8, 2010
3 Ratings
Author Notes

I was a kid in grade school the first time I saw fish in a can, and no it wasn't tuna, it was sardines. I had a seventh grade science teacher, Mr. Agulara, who would make sardine sandwiches. To me they were mysterious and from another land. He would pop open an oval shaped can of sardines bathed in tomato. Then he would thinly slice an onion and put it all onto a crusty loaf of French bread and would slather it with mustard. Finally, he would smash it like you would a Cubano and you could hear the bread crackle as he applied the pressure with the palms of his hands. I have been a fan of fish in a can ever since. I would like to eat this dish someday on the Bay of Biscay coast of France, languidly eating lunch and drinking a nice bottle of crisp white wine and smelling the ocean breeze. - thirschfeld

Test Kitchen Notes

The interplay of the sardines, radishes, avocados and cress worked very nicely together. This was especially apparent with the fleshy texture of the sardines and the smooth buttery-ness of the avocado to which the radish gave a sharp contrast. The radishes didn't have a starring role in this dish (seemingly coming in second to the sardines), but overall an excellent recipe and one we will definitely use in the future. – Adamnsvetcooking —The Editors

  • Serves 4
  • 1 to 2 tins, depending on how many you want on each salad of two layer brisling sardines in olive oil, drained
  • 2 avocados, split, pit removed and sliced into rounds
  • 4 large radishes, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh chives, cut into batons
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley
  • 1 or 2 lemons
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 bunch of upland or water cress
In This Recipe
  1. Carefully remove the sardines with a fork from the can. The idea is to keep them whole. Place then into a shallow flat container and squeeze the juice half a lemon over them. Sprinkle them with half the parsley and 1 teaspoon of chives. Season them with a pinch of pepper and salt. Let them sit for 15 minutes.
  2. While they are sitting attractively place the avocado into bowls. Now place 4 to 6 sardines into each bowl and then scatter the radishes over the top. Tuck in small bunches of cress. Garnish with remaining chives and parsley. Dress with a squeeze of lemon juice and some more olive oil. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper and serve.
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Father, husband, writer, photojournalist and not always in that order.