This deliciously unusual sandwich comes from Clotilde Dusoulier's Chocolate and Zucchini—the book, not the blog! Making your own tomato condiment may sound a bit fussy, but it’s actually very little trouble (and, more important, totally worth it).
Although some people are still skeptical about sardines, this sandwich should convince any but the most committed haters: up against sweet tomatoes, creamy cheese, and pungent greens, the oily little fish don’t seem quite as aggressive as they otherwise might.
Be sure to cut off the crusts—it makes a difference—and if you like a double-decker, then do as Clotilde does and use these quantities make two club sandwiches instead of three regular ones. These would be great for a picnic; indoors or out, complete the meal with stuffed eggs.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small shallots, minced (onion will do in a pinch)
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon pimentón
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1 tin sardines packed in olive oil, about 4 ounces; I prefer skinless and boneless here
- 6 slices multigrain sandwich bread
- 1/4 cup fresh goat cheese, ricotta, or cream cheese
- 1 packed cup arugula (or mixed greens or baby spinach)
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, until soft and fragrant, stirring regularly. Add the tomatoes, pimentón, salt, pepper, and sugar. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is thick and the juices have evaporated. Transfer to a bowl to cool. (This can be prepared up to a day in advance.)
Drain the sardines and mash roughly with a fork. Slice the crusts off the bread and discard or save for bread crumbs. Toast the slices until golden brown.
Build the sandwiches: toast, cheese, tomato jam, sardines, arugula, toast. Use a sharp bread knife to halve diagonally.