Spaniards traditionally have eaten sardines topped with minced onion or garlic. Peruvians added their own touches -- hot peppers and lemon juice -- and came up with this version. The tomatoes add a refreshing note.
Make Ahead: The sardines need to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Two 4.5-ounce cans sardines (preferably packed in olive oil), drained
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup), rinsed with hot water and drained
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Lettuce leaves
- 1 small ripe but firm tomato (about 3 ounces), seeded and diced
Place the sardines in a glass pie plate.
Combine the onion and jalapeno in a medium glass bowl.
Whisk together the lemon juice, salt, cumin and black pepper in a small glass bowl and add to the vegetables, tossing to combine. Pour the mixture over the sardines, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled.
To serve, line individual plates with lettuce leaves and top with the sardines and vegetables, spooning over some of the marinating liquid. Place the tomato at the edge of each plate and serve.
Adapted from "The South American Table," by Maria Baez Kijac (Harvard Common Press, 2003).
Tested by Jim Webster.
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