Drizzled with olive oil and garnished with a beautiful Mediterranean gremolata of chopped parsley, garlic, capers, and lemon zest, these sardines on cauliflower toast make an incredibly healthy and delicious lunch or even dinner.
It’s hard to believe now, but there was actually a time in my life when I refused to eat sardines. I was only a kid and didn’t know any better and nothing could convince me to take a bite of these tasty, little fish. However, after struggling with dry skin and eczema for years, I decided to try adding more omega-3 rich foods to my diet. This, of course, meant eating more fish, and tinned sardines happen to be one of the best choices. They are an excellent source of high quality omega-3 fatty acids as well as being rich in essential Vitamin D, many minerals (including calcium and magnesium), RNA/DNA, and coenzyme Q-10 (an important nutrient for brain and heart health). Because they are small and wild caught, they have much lower traces of mercury compared to other fish. And, even better, they are much lower in cost and much more convenient, coming already cooked and ready to be eaten straight from the tin.
I have eaten sardines plain, drizzled with a little olive oil, or chopped up in a salad, but I have to say that served on fluffy, golden cauliflower toast with gremolata is definitely my favorite. If you’ve never been a big sardines fan, you absolutely must try them this way and you may end up changing your mind.
First, you’ll need a tin of sardines. I like the wild Pacific sardines in water by Wild Planet. There is no BPA used in the can lining, and the sardines are cleaned and scale free. Wild Planet also sells a variety in extra virgin olive oil, but those also have aqueous natural smoke. They are not boneless, but sardine bones are actually rich in calcium and can be eaten. If you prefer your sardines boneless, however, you can quite easily remove the bones.
Next, you’ll need to make the cauliflower toasts. These are made slightly differently from our previous recipe for cauliflower flatbreads, but they’re still only fifteen minutes to prepare and twenty-five minutes in the oven. First, the cauliflower needs to be turned into a flour-like consistency.
I pulse a few cauliflower florets at a time in our Cuisinart food processor until they are the size of couscous.
Next, bring half a cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. After stirring in the cauliflower, turn off the heat and cover the pan. The pan sits covered for 10 minutes before you remove the lid and transfer the cauliflower to a cheesecloth. Twist the cheesecloth into a pouch and use it to gently squeeze out most of the moisture. It is important for the cauliflower to be dry. Finally, place the cauliflower in a large mixing bowl and mix in an egg, Gruyere cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper for a lovely blend of flavors. The end result is a grainy, easy to manage batter that is ready to be made into toast-shaped squares.
Divide the batter into eight sections and shape into toast-like squares. Pop in the oven for 25 minutes, until golden.
Cauliflower is an excellent source of potassium. It’s rich in dietary fiber, folate, manganese, and vitamins C, K, and B6. In other words, this is the perfect way to add more vegetables into your diet so feel free to eat as many as you please.
Now all that’s left is to make the gremolata. I chop up the parsley and then toss with lemon zest, garlic, and capers. To make the lemon zest, you will need a microplane. Grate only the outer layer of the skin, rotating the lemon for just the zest and not the white pith which can be bitter.
And everything’s ready! Gently place your sardines on a slice of cauliflower toast, cover with the gremolata, drizzle with olive oil, and devour! You can eat with a knife and fork or pick the toast up by hand. Sometimes I like to spread my toasts with a little bit of homemade mayonnaise before topping with the sardines and gremolata.
I love how this dish is so healthy and satisfying. I love how it looks so elegant and perfect for a dinner party. And I love the wonderful taste of the gremolata: so fresh and slightly tangy. Guys, can you tell how in love I am with this recipe? 😉
Discovering that cauliflower could be turned into yummy toast has pretty much revolutionized the way I eat. Pairing with sardines and gremolata makes it even more amazingly delicious. Enjoy, friends! Have a happy and healthy week!
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- For gremolata
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 organic lemons, washed and dried
- olive oil
- ¼ cup capers
- For toast
- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup gruyere cheese shredded
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- pepper, to taste
- Wild Sardines
- For the gremolata Zest the skin of both lemons. Add lemon zest and garlic to parsley and toss. Cover and set aside.
- For the cauliflower toast Preheat oven to 450°F Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil.
- Pulse a few florets of cauliflower at a time in your food processor until the cauliflower pieces are the size of couscous, about 3 cups. Next bring ½ cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the cauliflower to the pan. Stir. Turn the heat off and cover the pan. Let the pan sit covered for 10 minutes. Then remove the lid.Transfer to a cheesecloth and twist cheesecloth into a pouch. Squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible, almost 1 cup of liquid. It is important for the cauliflower rice to be dry. Then place in a large mixing bowl and add egg, cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. Divide in eight sections and shape into toast-like squares. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden.
- Sardines There is a soft bone that you may want to remove from each sardine. (I don't mind the bone; it is a good source of calcium and so soft that you can't choke on it.) However, if you prefer removing the bone it is very simple to do. Sardines are a very delicate fish.so very gently take the tip of your knife and slit open each sardine and remove the long thin bone. Then fold the two halves together again. Do this for each sardine.
- Place 2 sardines on each slice of toast. Top with gremolata, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with capers.
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