Good Mood Sardines

At heart, many cooks secretly fancy themselves to be magicians. Maybe it’s because people so often ask, “How did you do that?” But unlike, say Houdini, I always tell the tale behind the magic. Take sardines. I love them because they’re extremely high in omega-3s and vitamin D, both of which tend to be in short supply in people’s diets. Thanks to those mood-boosting nutrients, sardines are like little antidepressants in a can. That said, some culinary wizardry will be required to turn sardine skeptics into wild-eyed fans. Take my kitchen assistants, Jen and Katie. They swore they couldn’t stand sardines. I simply said, “You haven’t them the way I make them” and sent them out of the kitchen so I could perform my feat of prestidigitation. (No rabbit and top hat; just red onion, basil, parsley, mint, olive oil, and lemon juice). Voilà! They eagerly devoured the sardines and asked for more. Now that’s the kind of magic I like to practice.

MAKES 2 SERVINGS

4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 (4.35-ounce) can sardines, packed in water or olive oil*

Put the lemon juice, lemon zest, red onion, parsley, basil, mint, olive oil, mustard, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the sardines and flake them into chunky pieces with a fork. Stir gently to combine. Taste; you may want to add a pinch of salt or a generous squeeze of lemon juice.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: Not applicable
STORAGE: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

PER SERVING: Calories: 135; Total Fat: 9 g (2 g saturated, 4.5 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates: 2 g; Protein: 12.5 g; Fiber: 0.5 g; Sodium: 593 mg

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.