Joana here - Farah Trading Co's official wine and food writer based in Leiria, Portugal!
In thinking about my first recipe for Farah's Cork & Fork blog, I opted for a delicious, quick and easy Portuguese petisco (the Portuguese version of a tapa) using canned sardines in tomato sauce.
Before you think this will be a hassle, too much work and a ton of dishes to do, think again because it is the absolute opposite! This canned sardines recipe is one of my go-to's that reminds me of the ocean and is just begging for a glass of vinho on the side.
Step 1 - Start by thinly slicing a red onion and bell peppers (I used yellow but you can use any other color you like), and try to cut them into bite size pieces so it’s easier to eat with your hands. Peel and cut half a clove of garlic, chop a handful of parsley and cut a lemon in wedges – there, veggies are done!
Step 2 - Slice 1-inch-thick cornbread slices (if you don’t have cornbread, just grab some sourdough, it will work wonderfully as well) and toast it on both sides, just until it gets that wonderful crunchy bite to it. Once it comes out of the toaster, firmly rub that garlic clove on one side. You want that garlicky flavor on the base alongside a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
Open those canned sardines in tomato sauce and delight yourself with the aromas of the Mediterranean...
Step 3 - You’re minutes away from biting into these salty treats. Place the garlic cornbread pieces on your plate, then spread around the thin slices of pepper and onions, lay the canned sardines in tomato sauce on top of it (make sure you get all the sauce from the tin, just pour it over directly or with a spoon) and finish with some seasonings: salt, fresh grounded pepper, parsley, a nice drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
The beauty of this petisco recipe is that you can do it for yourself or serve it to wow your guests. And it’s so quick and easy. Now sit back, relax, open a bottle of a crisp white or a beautiful rosé and dig in!
If you loved this canned sardine recipe, check out our latest recipe, 5 ingredient canned sardine pasta plus our article on the history of the canned sardine in Portugal.
Cheers, from my home in Portugal to yours!
The Easiest Canned Sardines on Toast, Portuguese Style!
Joana Rute Carmo
How about a delicious, quick and easy warm weather treat? Something that reminds you of the ocean and is just begging for a glass of vinho on the side. And before you think this will be a hassle, too much work and a ton of dishes to do afterwards, think again because it is the absolute opposite. - Cheers and enjoy! - Joana Rute Carmo Portuguese food, wine and travel writer for the Farah Team
Canned sardines in tomato sauce
4 1-inch-thick slices of cornbread
1 garlic clove, halved
½ yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
Portuguese Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Fresh ground black pepper
Chopped parsley leaves (optional)
Lemon squeeze (optional)
Toast the cornbread (on both sides) either on a pan or a toaster.
While the toast is still warm, rub the garlic clove and drizzle olive oil, top with the thin slices of yellow pepper and red onion and top with the tomato sardines, 1 per each slice.
To finish, season with some salt, fresh ground pepper a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle some parsley leaves.
Open a bottle of white or rosé wine, serve on some glasses, relax and enjoy!
Portuguese cuisine is all about flavor and resourcefulness, it’s about using what you have, what grows near you and what you can get locally. If you don’t have cornbread, don’t worry – just use some nice sourdough or white bread. Don’t have parsley? Use cilantro. Make it work, make it flavorful and make it fun!