Sardine Rillettes

For this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, the Doristas got brave and chose a slightly scary recipe:  Sardine Rillettes.  Rillettes are a meat- (or fish-) based spread eaten as an appetizer.  Rillettes are traditionally a very rich dish made from pork, goose, or duck, though lighter rillettes made from fish, such as salmon or sardines, are now common.

This week I am visiting my parents in Seattle, so they and my sister got to be the taste testers.  My husband, who is not always a very adventurous eater, was surprisingly disappointed he would not be able to try this dish.  Sardines sounded good to him.

I was surprised how big the sardines were - only 3 to a can!

To make Sardine Rillettes, cream cheese is blended with finely chopped shallots, green onion, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and a pinch of piment d’Espelette.  I was able to harvest fresh parsley and chives from my Dad’s garden!  Next, the sardines and mashed into the cream cheese mixture to form a smooth spread.

I served the Sardine Rillettes with some basic crackers, which were the perfect foil for the complex flavors.  It was a big hit!  I loved the briny flavor of the sardines mixed with the crunchy bite of the minced shallots.  The lemon and herbs rounded out the flavors.

The quality of your sardines are very important to the success of this dish.  My mom said she had made this once before and didn’t like it very much.  I got some higher-quality sardines and she really liked it this time around.

Let’s see how many Doristas tried and liked this dish!  To see the other results check out the “Leave Your Link” post:  LYL: sardine rillettes.



Filed under Cooking

7 responses to “Sardine Rillettes

  1. Looks delicious, happy to hear that your parents enjoyed it as well. I also opted for some higher quality sardines and found them to be quite good. And really, even the expensive sardines were not expensive. Or maybe it’s just all relative after paying 20 euros for a can of crab last month!

  2. The larger sardines look a bit less off putting. (I used my parents on this one too…)
    Pretty pictures

  3. Glad to hear this was a winner for you guys! My in-laws were the brave souls that tried this, although I ended up hoarding the leftovers for a sandwich. It’s so funny how an unfamiliar ingredient will have most of us post pictures of it – I’ve lost track of the open sardine cans I’ve seen. 🙂

  4. Wow, Karen, your sardines are gigantic compared to the ones I bought. Funny that there is so much variation. Glad to hear you liked it. You can make it again when you go home so your disappointed husband can try. Hope you’re having (or had) a nice visit with your family.

  5. maybe it also has to do with the herbs and other things that go in them ? 🙂 That seems to make all the difference sometimes!

  6. Karen, If I had found sardines that looked like that, I would have made and loved the dish. Go figure. They are beautiful and glad your family got to share them with you. Mary

  7. I’m glad this was a hit for you, Karen. Your photos are lovely. I hope you are having a wonderful visit in Seattle!

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