Thursday, July 20, 2017

Small Fish

Someone wrote to Martha Stewart this month and asked, "What are some easy ways to add more small fish to my diet?"

And she was all like, "Just put some tinned sardines on some toast with parsley and lemon! Easy breezy!"

Because apparently, their little edible bones have calcium that you wouldn't get from boneless fish, plus they have lots of omega-3 fatty acids.

Plus, they are low on the ocean food chain, which means this.

So I picked up some Spanish sardines --Martha says they haaaaaaave to be Spanish-- at the Ferry Building in San Francisco last week, already had some lemons and crusty bread, and got big ol' leafy parsley at the farmer's market on Saturday.

I didn't bother to make this on a day when my husband was home. He likes fish and all, but sardines on toast? No, no, and no.

Small Fish Toasts
-slices of your favorite crusty bread (ciabatta, rustic, baguette, etc)
-a little mayo, butter, aioli, or olive oil for brushing on toast
-tinned sardines (mine came 4 fish to a tin)
-lemon wedges and minced parsley for garnishing
-salt & pepper, if desired

1. Toast slices of bread. Spread mayo or other moistening agent on one side of slices.
2. Add a fish to each slice, mashing slightly to keep fish in place.
3. Garnish with parsley and lemon juice to taste (I liked a LOT of lemon juice), and salt and pepper if desired.

Don't live near the ocean (or the Ferry Building)? Martha says you can get good tinned fish at

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


This might be my favorite summer lunch ever.

Tomatoes from the farmer's market. Leftover crusty bread. Really good balsamic vinegar and some olive oil. So. damn. good.

Yeah, it's peasant food. It's a way to use up stale bread bits that you might not use otherwise. It's also how you use up all those tomatoes from your garden. And basil, if you happen to grow it. And maybe a cucumber if you are going all out.

The quality of your balsamic matters here. Splurge on the good stuff, and skip the crap that has flavor and color added that you buy at the grocery store.  Bonus: the good stuff is ridiculous drizzled on your summer strawberries.

Summer Panzanella

maybe half a loaf of some leftover crusty bread (ciabatta, baguette, sourdough, whatever)
a couple of ripe tomatoes (heirlooms are my favorite, but even little cherry tomatoes will work)
a shallot (or maybe 1/4 onion)
a small cucumber (optional)
a few basil leaves (optional)
a few TBSPs olive oil
a generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

NOTE: Your bread may be very dry, or not so much. Your tomatoes will be super juicy, or not. These factors will determine how much olive oil and vinegar you need. Start with a little. Add more if needed. Don't drown your salad in oil. Just add enough to moisten the bread.

1. Cube bread and place in a medium bowl. My cubes are maybe 1" or 1.5" around.
2. Cut up tomatoes (and cucumbers, if using) into pieces a little smaller than your bread cubes. Add to bowl.
3. Slice or finely dice your shallot/onion, depending on how much raw shallot you can tolerate in each bite. Add to bowl.
4. Roughly chop basil and add to bowl. Or chiffonade if you are feeling fancy.
5. Add olive oil and balsamic, and S&P to taste. Toss and set aside to absorb liquid, 10-15 minutes. Toss again and serve.