Somewhere hidden in your pantry lies a can of sardines. It probably arrived as part of a Mediterranean gift basket and was pushed to the back of the closet three holidays ago. You tell yourself “I hate sardines. What am I doing with these things?” You are here to find out the answer to that question. Turn the contents of that can into a delicious bite to serve on toast, gluten free crackers–I love Mary’s–even cucumber rounds. What you need is that can with some of its oil, 1/2 stick softened unsalted butter, juice of 1/2 lemon (or whole lemon depending on taste), finely chopped scallion, and salt and pepper to taste. Check the sardines for bones, sometimes they have already been removed, just slide your finger down the middle of the fish and pull out if bone is still there. Chop finely or add to food processor with some of the sardine oil, butter, lemon juice, scallion and season to taste with salt and pepper. It can be used immediately, or prepared ahead, just bring to room temp before serving, it should be spreadable. Serve with something fizzy like Prosecco or a spritz. (Tip for keeping scallions-place in water as though they were flowers with roots still attached. They will keep longer-see below.) One more thought. If, after all is said and done, you still don’t like sardines, substitute canned tuna, in oil please, or, for something really luxurious, canned crabmeat. It’s all good.

 

 

What to do with a peppadew? Peppadews are round, cored pepper-type things that are generally found at the olive bar in many supermarkets. They can be purchased in jars, but it is more economical to purchase them loose and buy just what you need. They come in red and yellow varieties, but the red is the more prevalent color. If you can find both, buy both, they look pretty when filled and displayed. The flavor is sweet and slightly briny. Because they are hollowed out, they lend themselves to many types of fillings–think crabmeat, tuna chunks, even scrambled eggs; they are perfect for one bite, fork not required, and do not need anything but a cocktail. Here I stuff them with feta cheese. Just cut the feta cheese into pieces and stuff the peppers. Pour a glass of wine. Eat.