Back to school: sardine sandwich

My dream vacation is a combination of city and nature. So this summer we first spent a week at the Lower East Side, Manhattan. A cool, vibrant neighborhood with boutiques of young designers and restaurants of new promising chefs. After a week we drove to Long Island’s North Fork, where we rented a beautifully renovated barn in a small village. On our way out of the City we stopped at MoMA PS1 in Queens. My kind of museum, with refreshing contemporary cutting-edge art, no crowds, and a good place for lunch within its confines: M. Wells Dinette.

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Because the museum is situated in a hundred-year-old school building, the cafeteria M. Wells Dinette is set up like a classroom, with chalkboards and long shared desks. For lunch I had a tasty sandwich with skordalia (potato garlic puree) and sardines. On our Long Island farm I immediately prepared a similar kind of sandwich: with a cannellini bean rosemary puree instead of skordalia. It has become one of my favorite summer sandwiches for lunch. And now that my two girls are back to school it also makes an easy sandwich for supper, served with a a big green salad (double the recipe).

Sardine Sandwich with Cannellini Bean Puree

Serves 2-4
Action Time: 20 minutes

3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig of rosemary, needles finely chopped
1 15-oz (400 g) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
a pinch of crushed red pepper
zest and juice of ½ organic lemon
1 large handful of flat leaf parsley
4 slices of sourdough bread
1 can of sardines, drained and bones removed

Extra: potato masher

1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a skillet and cook the garlic and rosemary over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the beans and crushed red pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a large flat bowl and mash the beans with a potato masher. Add the lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

2. In a small bowl toss parsley leaves with 1 tbsp of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt, and pepper.

3. Preheat the broiler. Brush the slices of bread with some olive oil and broil 5 inches (about 12 cm) from heat for 1 minute or until lightly browned. Turn slices over and broil for about 1 minute more.

4. Spread the white bean puree over the slices of bread. Top with sardines and some parsley salad.

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