While I was in Seattle some months ago shopping at the Spanish Table, the Spanish import store, I picked up some sardines from Galicia. The northwest corner of Spain is renowned for its seafood and these sardines may be the best I’ve ever had from a tin. Plump and meaty, they’re sweet-fleshed and delicious. The brand is Matiz Gallego and they’re hand-packed in olive oil.
Since then, I spotted the characteristic blue-and-white package at Sur La Table, $2.95 for a 4.2-ounce tin, and have been serving them with a glass of wine as an aperitif. They’re great because you can always have them on hand.
Inspired by Octavio Becerra’s sardines on toast at the late great Palate Food + Wine, here’s how I do it. Take a thin slice of baguette, toast it, spread with sweet butter, lay the sardine on top and finish it off with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of chives or a little red onion. Sometimes I use pumpernickel as the bread.
Serve with a glass of Albariño from Galicia, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, or a dry rosé.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Photos: Sardines in tin; sardines on toast. Credit: S. Irene Virbila / Los Angeles Times