Why I'm Smart: Sardines & Bean Stew

I knew I would get your attention with that title.

Yes, this post is about the lowly sardine.

It is considered a top "brain food", and that's why I think I am so smart (I keep telling myself this).

I have always eaten sardines.

They used to be a poor man's food. A sardine sandwich packed in a lunchbox was like SPAM back in the day.
However, sardines are back in fashion.

I love a sardine sandwich with horseradish cream and pickled onions. But hey, that's me.

They are super high in omega3, vitamin D, high in protein, low in mercury and never farm raised.

There are so many articles on how and why sardines are so good for you. They help with brain function and are high in selenium (like egg yolks).

If you don't like them, I understand. They are like anchovies, people either love them or hate them.

Try them again, you might like them, and you'll feel smarter.

Sardines on toast with balsamic syrup are delicious as a first course.

This month's SAVEUR magazine is all about sardines. Which brands are the best and why, along with some interesting sardine recipes.

I mail order my sardines from France (Brittany), but there are plenty of good brands at the supermarket, like King Oscar, or Matiz.

The first recipe is a Sardine Stew. More like a cassoulet, sans the duck and sausage.

Vegetables are sauteed, then cans of tomatoes and beans are added. You can say this a larder meal, because you probably have everything in the cupboard.

If you like sardines, you will LOVE this recipe. It was delicious, and of course the toasted panko breadcrumbs on top made this dish even better.

Sardine & Bean Stew: (adapted from Saveur)

2 carrots, grated
2 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
14 oz. can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 good quality can of sardines in oil
salt & pepper
dash of hot pepper flakes
1/4 cup of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
handful of fresh parsley, chopped

In a 12" heavy skillet, heat some olive oil and saute the panko crumbs for about 5 minutes, until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add some more olive oil to the skillet and cook the celery, onion, carrots and garlic, about 2 minutes.

Add in the tomatoes, drained beans and sardines, cutting the sardines in half with the spoon.

Turn down the heat and simmer the stew for about 8 minutes until thickened.

Season w/ salt & pepper.

Toss the panko crumbs and fresh parsley on top and serve.

Who needs college, when you have sardines?


Tracy S said…
I just read that article in Saveur...I've actually never had a sardine before but they seem like something I'd like. I think I'm going to test out your recipe soon...looks good!
Anonymous said…
I wish I had known this, I would not have wasted all that $ on my dopey kid for the last 4 years, who can't find a job and sits at home and plays video games.

Maybe if I gave him sardines, he would have been able to find a job, and I would have been able to go to Europe instead!

I have always loved sardines. I think you are just plain smart. :)
Natalia said…
My brother & I grew up eating sardines at home, because my father really liked them. We used to have sardine salads, much like tuna or chicken salads. (I guess I'm smart too!)

This looks like a very healthy combo - veggies, sardines, beans - a must try. Will try to make it for my kids & see if they like it.
Anonymous said…
I think you're the opposite of a super taster, Ms. Snacks. That's how you tolerate, crave & thrive on all these high octane taste sensations.
Jenn said…
I'm a sardine lover too, and I wish I could get my kids on board...but for now they don't have to know that I hide mashed sardines in their tuna sandwiches :)

Thanks for sharing, looking forward to trying this!
Anonymous said…
Stacey: My Italian/Spanish roots guaranteed I would love sardines. This recipe looks like a "keeper". I came upon a wonderful sardine recipe from "French Food at Home"; slather good quality butter on a slice of dark bread, then top with good quality sardines...and enjoy! I'll try this sardine stew with my new crew of international palates! Thanks Angela Muller