I love fish, and was beyond thrilled to catch (get it … catch?) Chris Kresser’s recent podcast interview with Dr. Nicholas Ralston explaining that the fears about mercury exposure through the consumption of ocean fish are largely unfounded. It’s a great interview and I encourage you to listen, but suffice it to say that Dr. Ralston’s work shows that ocean fish contain enough selenium to counterbalance any mercury found in them. (Read the section on “How selenium protects against the toxicity of mercury” in the transcript to learn just why the selenium levels matter.)
While I do enjoy a lot of fatty, ocean fish, I haven’t always been terrific with the low-on-the-food-chain species – the herring, sardines, and anchovies. Determined to add some of these little Omega-3 wonders to my diet, I’ve been buying cans of sardines lately.
Not to be too repetitive, but I love fish. I love fishy fish, I love mild fish, I love shellfish. I can eat these little suckers straight from the can. My family, on the other hand, is a tad reluctant when it comes to seafood. But, armed with a determination to share the Omega-3 goodness with the rest of my family, I whipped up the little “recipe” below.
Simple Sardine Salad
- 1 head lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
- 1 clove garlic
- juice from 1/2 of lemon
- 1 sardine, canned in water or oil
- 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
- salt + pepper, to taste
(You also need a Vitamix or other high-powered blender.)
- Add lettuce to large bowl. Set aside.
- Put garlic, lemon juice, and sardine in high-powered blender. Turn to low (1 or 2 on Vitamix) until the food starts to break apart.
- Turn off blender and remove lid plug. You may want to have a towel handy to cover the hole.
- Turn blender back on to low (1 or 2 on Vitamix) and drizzle oil into container as you continue to run blender.
- When all oil is in container, return lid plug to blender and turn to high (8-10 on Vitamix) until food is all pureed and you have the dressing consistency you desire. (Feel free to add more lemon juice or water to adjust thickness.)
- Pour desired amount of dressing over lettuce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well but gently.
If dairy is not a problem for you, a nice hard cheese like Parmesan or Romano would be a lovely addition. We added pomegranate arils to ours.
To maximize the nutritional benefits, make sure to buy the sardines with the bones. They are superfine and you will not notice them, especially once you have pureed the fish. They are a great calcium source!
What about you – do you eat fish regularly? Sardines? Herring? Anchovies? Share your favorite ways to enjoy these small fish in the comments section.