Recipe adapted from and published with permission of Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table.
- Two 3 3/4 ounce cans of sardines, packed in olive oil, drained
- 2 1/2 ounces of Neufchâtel cheese or cream cheese
- 1/4 cup minced shallots (or minced red onions that have soaked in lemon juice for a few minutes)
- 1-2 scallions (green onions), white and light green parts only (about 3 inches from root), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1/4 cup lime juice or lemon juice, or to taste
- 2-3 Tbsp minced fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, or dill
- Pinch of cayenne
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Prep the sardines: Remove the sardines from the cans. Using a small, sharp knife, carefully open each one down the belly and back, folding them open to expose the backbone. Remove and discard the bones. Cut away and discard any tails. Set aside.
2 Mix the cream cheese, shallot, scallion, herb mixture: Place the cream cheese or Neufchâtel in a medium bowl. Fold and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the shallots, scallions, fresh herbs, and most of the lime or lemon juice, mixing into the cheese with the spatula.
3 Mash the sardines into the cheese: Add the now boneless sardines to the cheese mixture. Use a fork to smash the sardines and stir into the cheese. Add cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. Add more lime or lemon juice to taste.
Either serve immediately (Dorie suggests chilling at least 2 hours, but I haven't found that necessary), or chill. Can make up to two days ahead if you carefully cover with plastic wrap so there is no exposure to air, and chill.
Serve on crackers, bread, celery sticks, or as a stuffing for cherry tomatoes.