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Jazzing up a classic childhood snack of sardines on toast, by spreading some horseradish cream cheese on toasted sourdough bread and topping it with balsamic tinned sardines and a quick and simple onion chutney.

Sardines on toast is one of those meals that we had fairly often when we were little, and then I completely forgot about them for years. Recently, and I can’t remember why, they popped back into my mind. I bought some and enjoyed a yummy dinner one night when I needed something quick and filling. Sardines are actually really good for you, did you know that? Full of good omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins D and B12. And they retain much of their goodness even when canned. Oh, they also have lower mercury levels than other fish. So now I always keep a tin or two in the cupboard.

The other day I was planning a sponsored post over on the Greek side of TFC. The product was balsamic vinegar. Since I adore loads of vinegar on my sardines I thought I’d do something along those lines. However, plain sardines on toast are not what I consider blog-worthy. Not because they are lacking in yumminess, but because they are just too easy and simple to throw together to warrant a recipe. So I started wondering how to fancy them up a bit. Well, I ended up taking them to a whole new level. If I may say so myself…

First of all, I used sourdough bread, which is nice and sturdy. You could also use baguette or any other weird and wonderful bread like pumpernickel for example. Then I mixed some horseradish sauce into some cream cheese. I only used a tiny bit because horseradish is an acquired taste, but you can adjust that to your liking (I’m using way more next time!). And finally, I made a delicious quick ‘n’ easy chutney. It started out as a quick pickle, but I decided to leave the onions to cook a little in the pan, so I suppose the correct term for it would now be chutney. Whatever you want to call it, it’s delish. I used one the vinegars I am presenting to my Greek audience, so you might have to search for something similar, but I’m sure it would also taste good with a plain white wine vinegar too. You might need to cook it down for longer before it turns syrupy, I’m not sure. If you can find it, choose a balsamic cream which is thicker. Mine is pomegranate flavoured, but the taste is not so prominent so it wouldn’t make a big difference if it was something else. If you use a dark coloured one then the colour of the chutney would of course be different.

So, next time you fancy a quick, easy and healthy dinner, try these sardine crostini, and let me know what you think!


4 Tbs light coloured balsamic cream

2 Tbs sugar

1 tsp pepper corns (I used mixed colours)

1/8 tsp allspice, ground

1 small onion, cut in half moon shapes

100 gr cream cheese

1/2 tsp horseradish sauce

1 tin x 125 gr sardines in oil (90 gr drained weight)

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

4 large slices of sourdough bread from a round loaf

dill weed, fresh, finely chopped

Step 1

In a small pan heat the balsamic cream with the sugar, pepper corns and allspice over medium heat. When it bubbles add the onion and stir well to break up the slices. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, take off the heat and set aside for 45 minutes.

Step 2

Mix the cream cheese with the horseradish and set aside.

Step 3

Put the drained sardines on a plate and open them up. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.

Step 4

Cut the slices of bread in two, toast them, and spread one side with the horseradish cream cheese. Top with a piece of sardine. Add a small spoonful of onion chutney and sprinkle with dill. Serve immediately.

Note: The quantities are for a light meal for 2 people, or an appetizer for 4. You can also make them as finger food for a party, in which case you can cut the bread into smaller slices and get about 12 crostini.

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