Sometimes, the best things come in small packages. Take, for instance, small fish, such as herring, sardines, and anchovies. Lower in mercury and higher in heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids than equal quantities of larger fish, these little beauties are among of the healthiest fish around. In fact, there is even an old Dutch proverb that claims “If herring is around, the doctor is far away.”
Though they aren’t as popular today as they once were, herring, sardines (which are just very small herring), and anchovies can make a delicious addition to your table. If you’re not adventurous enough to eat pickled herring or sardines right out of the can, here are a few tasty ways to prepare these healthy fish:
Roasted Baby Beet and Herring Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon diced shallot
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
In a food processor, add dijon, shallot, garlic, tarragon, sugar, and a splash of the vinegar and pulse to combine. Add the rest of the vinegar, combine, then slowly incorporate oil. Set aside
16 bay beets, stems trimmed
1 bag mixed baby greens
12 pickled herring fillets, halved length-wise
Preheat oven to 400°. Drizzle beets with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap and foil and roast until tender, about an hour. Let cool in foil. When cool, slice and layer on the bottom of a salad plate. Top with mixed greens, drizzle with dressing, then arrange fillets on top. Serve.
4 oz creme fraiche
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 cans (3 1/4 oz) boneless, skinless sardines, drained
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 lemon, juiced
a few drops Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Garnish with parsley and capers, if desired. Serve with toasted baguette slices.
Grilled Niçoise Pizza with Anchovies
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 large Vidalia onion, caramelized
1 cup niçoise olives, diced
24 anchovy fillets
1 cup grated provolone
1/2 cup scallions, diced.
Prep grill and heat to medium high. Drizzle pitas in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then top with provolone, onion, tomatoes, olives, and 4 fillets. Grill for about 3-5 minutes, until nicely toasted and cheese melts. Cut into quarters, garnish with scallions and serve.