Canned Sardines In Tomato Sauce Will Instantly Upgrade Bruschetta

For tasty meals in a pinch, consider stocking your pantry with different canned seafood options. Trusty tuna is always there for a simple yet refined tuna sandwich, and you should start incorporating anchovies into more recipes across the board. Yet for a particularly versatile — and delicious fish — don't forget sardines.

Their flesh is meaty, soft, and doesn't turn mushy. The flavor is wonderfully balanced, with slightly fishy and salty notes that won't overpower. Plus, perhaps even more so than other canned fish, they are available with additional tin flavorings, ranging from lemony olive oil to spicy chilies and smoked variants. Such built-in texture and flavor make them ideal candidates for bruschetta; they'll create a tasty batch right out of the tin.

Since the toast-based snack classically features diced tomatoes on top of the bread, it's logical to reach for sardines packaged in tomato sauce. Mix some of the can's liquid with fresh chopped tomatoes, and the flavors will seamlessly meld together. A rub of garlic and some basil tie it all together, creating an upgraded bruschetta riff in an instant.

Sardines bring fishy savoriness to bruschetta

Unlike other canned varieties, sardines in tomato sauce are typically packaged without oil, which is helpful for the bruschetta build. Whether you're assembling cast iron bruschetta by heating the bread in a pan or opting for classic bruschetta and crisping up toast in the oven, there is no need to alter the recipe. Simply add the sardines at the end, spooning on the sauce liberally. Conversely, in recipes that utilize sardines canned in olive oil, the fish needs to be drained, and the oil content carefully monitored.

It goes without saying that higher-quality fish results in tastier bruschetta, so check out Tasting Table's canned sardine rankings before making a purchase. Also, consider branching out to tomato sauces blended with other aromatics. There are chile-infused versions for a bit of spice, as well as smoked sardines to amplify savoriness even further. So don't neglect the wondrous flavors of tinned fish. In a pinch, you can always garnish toast with saucy fish bites to make bruschetta at a moment's notice.