Baltic Sprat, Roasted Cherry Tomato and Vodka Bruschetta 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Ethnic Market Scout Jul 9, 2014

Smoked Baltic sprats, usually canned, are a popular snack in Russia and the Baltic states. The salty, sardinelike fish are layered on dark rye bread spread with butter or mayonnaise, topped with onions and served with vodka.

Where to Buy: The sprats are available at Eastern European and Russian grocery stores.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint or dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 12 thick slices ciabatta bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into quarters, then thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons vodka
  • 14 or 15 ounces canned, no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 12 smoked sprats (see headnote)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking oil spray.

Spread the tomatoes on the baking sheet; sprinkle them with the dried mint or thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt , the crushed red pepper flakes and the sugar. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping the tomatoes twice during that time. Let them cool.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium heat. Working in batches as needed, arrange the bread slices in the pan; cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, so the bread is nicely browned and crisped. Place one slice on each plate; use 2 tablespoons of the oil to drizzle over them.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the red onion and toss to coat. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the cooled, roasted tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the vodka, cooking until the alcohol evaporates, about 20 seconds.

Stir in the beans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

Arrange 1 sprat on each bruschetta, breaking it into a few pieces and mashing them slightly, then top each portion with two spoonfuls of the roasted tomato and bean stew. Serve right away.

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Recipe Source

From Washington caterer Vered Guttman.

Tested by Vered Guttman.

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