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Welcome Spring with Sardines

Spring is here at last—and that means fresh produce is back on the menu. Rich, savory sardines are a perfect match for crisp spring veggies. Here are five of our favorite sardine recipes to inspire your next farmer’s market haul.

It’s finally the time of year when nature comes back to life. The days are longer, the sun feels a little stronger, the trees are putting out buds, and daffodils and crocuses are popping up everywhere. Spring weather also means that the farmer’s markets and local grocery stores are about to be full of fresh, delicious goodies you simply can’t get the rest of the year.

Sardines are an ideal ingredient to use with spring produce. They’re incredibly rich and flavorful on their own, so pairing them with something fresh and crisp—radishes, herbs, blanched asparagus—makes perfect sense from a flavor and texture perspective. But of course, sardines bring more than flavor to the table: They also feature healthy fats (hello, omega-3s!), protein, vitamins, and minerals. In other words, they’ll help you make the absolute most of the season’s bounty.

Sardine Crostini with Asparagus and Pesto

Fresh asparagus and pesto both practically scream spring, so it only made sense to kick things off with this recipe. Between the pesto, sardines, and thinly sliced red onion garnish, these crostini are packed with bright, punchy, craveable flavors. They’re also incredibly fast and easy to make because you cook the asparagus in the microwave, which takes just a couple of minutes. 

Scandinavian Sardine Sandwiches

An open-faced sandwich loaded with crunchy vegetables is the perfect light lunch for a crisp, sunny spring day. But don’t let those light, springy flavors fool you: The dense European-style rye bread, hard-boiled egg, sardines, and mustard-spiked Greek yogurt also mean that this is one seriously protein-packed sandwich.

Sardine Caesar Salad

Traditionally, a Caesar salad gets its trademark savory richness from anchovies, not sardines. Don’t tell the purists, but we think we might prefer this sardine version: It’s still rich and savory, but the sardines offer a lighter take on the classic flavor profile that’s especially good with lemon. Use the freshest, prettiest farmer’s market lettuce you can find here; you won’t regret it. 

Easy Italian Salsa Verde with Sardines

Fresh parsley, garlic, lemon, and capers mingle with savory sardines in this super-simple, bright green, intensely springy salsa verde. It’s fantastic on just about anything: Pasta, grilled meats, fish, or honestly, plain toasted baguette slices. Keep a jar of this stuff in the fridge and you’ll never run out of things to slather it on.

Sardine Cheese Board

We think savory sardines are a fun, unexpected addition to any cheese board. For a spring twist, add fresh figs, sliced radishes, and crispy snap peas to the spread, too. You can also double down on sardines and whip up a batch of our Easy Italian Salsa Verde for dipping and spreading; it’s excellent with a wide range of cheeses. 

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