Washington, D.C.-based chef Barton Seaver is a passionate advocate for the health of the oceans. He’s a fellow with the Blue Ocean Institute and is working on a PBS series, Turning the Tide, about food and the environment. When we asked Seaver what type of seafood he would like to include in a recipe for EatingWell, he suggested the humble canned sardine. He said, “Sustainability isn’t just about the oceans—it’s about sustainability for people. Anyone can jump in their SUV, drive to Walmart and buy a can of sardines. I love that! It needs to be accessible and easy.” We think Seaver has truly elevated the canned sardine with this fresh-tasting and simple appetizer.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Flake sardines with a fork into a mixing bowl. (The pieces should not be mashed, but should be no bigger than a dime.) Add mint, oil and salt; toss gently to combine.
If using whole slices of bread, cut off the crusts and cut each into four triangles. Place the triangles or baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake until crispy and golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. As soon as you remove them from the oven, rub each slice with the cut side of the tomato. As you progress, the tomato will break down until only the skin remains; discard any remaining tomato.
Top each toast with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sardine mixture. Top the sardine mixture with a couple of onion slices and serve immediately.