This will be brief, as I'm currently languishing on my couch in a pile of self pity, struck down by some weird cold/allergy combo that is keeping my eyes nice and puffy and my chest somewhat rattly. The other day, when I was feeling 100% awesome, I called my parents to hang out and they invited me over for a nice little summer barbecue. They always tell us not to bring anything, but it always feels better to show up with a side dish, so I threw together this weird little experimental sardine/noodle-y/salad whatnot.
I have never been really into those giant buckets of mayonnaise-drenched noodles and tuna that sometimes show up at barbecues. It's not that they don't taste good, and they get bonus points for being familiar and nostalgic, but for some reason my brain screams, "FOOD POISONING!!!!" even though I know that it's not that dangerous. Anyway, on a hot day I don't really feel like chowing down mayo, so I like the lightly dressed salads with oils & vinegar.
Sardine & Noodle salad:
1 half a cucumber, seeded & diced
1 carrot, diced
1 or 2 celery stalks, diced
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 small shallot, diced
a handful of chopped fresh basil (parsley would be good, too)
1 tin of sardines packed in olive oil (or water, if that's what you like)
olive oil, a splash of vinegar (this day, I used apple cider, but if I'd had rice wine vinegar I probably would have tried that, to match up with the fish better)
salt & pepper to taste
cold cooked noodles
Mix it all together in a bowl, dress it with oil & vinegar until it tastes good, and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to eat it.
I made another batch of this yesterday for dinner, but since I literally could not smell or taste a thing all day yesterday, I cannot tell you if it was worth my trouble to make a small amount of garlic paste (made by smashing garlic up with some sea salt) and throwing it in, or if using a small amount of balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider made much of a difference. I am like 80% sure it was delicious, but alas- I could not taste it.
The reason I use tinned sardines instead of cans of tuna is that sardines are lower in mercury and considered generally more 'sustainable' than tuna. Plus, I just like them. They aren't fishy and weird, they aren't salty like cured anchovies, they just taste like flaky, slightly tuna-y canned fish. And, there's 26 grams of protein in one package, isn't that crazy!? I've been on a big sardine kick lately- they do an awesome job of keeping me full and happy for a long time, which is a really big deal for someone who is hypoglycemic and experiences blood sugar crashes pretty frequently.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go sip hot chicken broth and stare out the window at the beautiful weather, hopefully I'll be feeling better by this weekend.