ffwD: Sardine Rillettes

After the surprisingly tasty grapefruit in Dorie’s crab & grapefruit salad, I was less hesitant to try this week’s sardine rillettes. Mind you, I was nowhere near the “looking forward to it” field, but I had my toes in the “sure, I’ll try it” pasture. I will say that when I described the recipe to several people, the consensus was that the rillettes sounded pretty disgusting. However, I held my head high, mustered up enough courage to buy one tin of sardines (I wasn’t about to buy Dorie’s suggested two tins), and bravely de-boned the little fish packed in olive oil.

After having a couple of bites of the spread on 5-Grain Fiber Selects Wheat Thins, I could barely tell the sardines, with the taste reminding me more of tuna fish salad. The flavor that displeased me, however, was the scallions, as the raw onion-y essence left me almost gagging. Maybe that’s why Dorie suggested using two tins of sardines; to balance out the strength of the scallions. My concern over the sardines made me completely forget that raw onions (another food nemesis!) were in the recipe as well!

For a second time now, Dorie has opened my eyes to a tasty new food. Although I don’t foresee buying anymore sardines in the near future, I will no longer discount them as a bile-inducing ingredient. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

To see how others fared with the sardine rillettes, check out French Fridays with Dorie where we make recipes from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.

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75 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amanda
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 02:44:01

    Good for you! I have yet to try sardines, but this post makes me think it’s possible. :)

  2. Food,Photography & France
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 02:59:25

    We live on the sardine coast of France which means sardines are big here! I can’t imagine not liking sardines, but then I can’t imagine liking a hamburger:)

  3. Choc Chip Uru
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 03:57:06

    Sardines dip? Sounds intriguing – your delicious dip photos also help :D
    And this is coming from a vegetarian ;)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  4. Bam's Kitchen
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 04:15:43

    That fish knife is just too cute perfect accompaniment to your dip. Take care, BAM

  5. Cher
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 04:33:22

    Baby steps, indeed. Good for you!
    Great fish knife :-)

  6. mireia
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 04:42:26

    I’m sorry you didn’t love it!! I love sardines!!

  7. Asmita (@FoodieAsmita)
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 05:22:17

    This sounds interesting. I do love fish but have not taken to sardines yet. I know, my mother would enjoy this a lot. Maybe , I can make this for her.
    Love the little fish knife. Looks so cute.

  8. TrafficDiva
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 05:32:46

    Yummy…I can’t believe you’ve never had sardines. They were Papa’s fav!! Haha! He would have been a big fan of this dish..Sardine Dip!! I think I will actually have a go at this recepie because I, too, enjoy sardines. I’ll make it in honor of his bithday (fellow taurus..lol!) Bottom Line: THIS LOOKS AWESOME…SAVE ME ANY LEFTOVERS! =)

  9. promenadeplantings
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 06:12:39

    Baby steps indeed, and well done for trying something new, it’s not always easy. I like the sound of the recipe as I like sardines and onions :)

  10. Liz Berg (@ThatSkinnyChick)
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 06:41:42

    You were a good sport…I forgot about your aversion to onions, too…LOL… I’m not sure if I would have even taken a bite in your shoes :) Have a great weekend~

  11. Inger Wilkerson
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 06:42:21

    I have never had sardines either; perhaps I will have to try them sometime. I am impressed you actually deboned the tiny creatures–what a dedicated blogger!

  12. hotlyspiced
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 06:58:44

    I think sardines are an ingredient that completely polarise people. Some people love them while others loathe them. Good on you for trying them. And for trying them with that other ingredient you don’t like – raw onion – It’s just not been your week! xx

  13. Necessity is the Mother of Invention
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 07:46:31

    I wanted to like them, and agree with the baby steps, but for some reason, even after my first thought was “tuna” I still couldn’t eat more than a small bite. I also opted for one tin of sardines.

  14. JamieAnne
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 07:52:28

    You’re so brave! I shy away from sardines.

  15. rondamkisner
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:49:12

    Sardines are supposed to be good for you. We even have some in the cupboard. I, however, never plan to open the tins! (The hubby likes them.) Maybe I could convince him to make this recipe for me to try?

  16. rondamkisner
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:49:43

    Oh! And I love that knife, it is so perfect for the picture!

  17. Three-Cookies
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:58:40

    I like sardines, pretty much in any shape and form. Lets see if Doris comes up with a recipe that includes raisins:)

  18. thekalechronicles
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 09:31:03

    You are brave. I would only eat a sardine if it was in something with about twenty other strongly-flavored ingredients. Good for you!

  19. Trevor Sis Boom
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 09:57:27

    I’m glad you tried this despite not loving it as I do. I have yet to confess this publicly but I will: I buy sardines by the case. I eat them right out of the can for snacks. Yum!

  20. Lisa(@LisaNutrition)
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 10:13:19

    Sardines are so good for you, those omega-3′s and calcium too! Glad you liked it and tasted like tuna. That 2nd pic is kinda funny, looks like antler’s staring back at you! Have a great weekend!

  21. Adriana @ GreatFood360°
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 10:41:17

    Baby steps are good steps! This is also the second time I’ve tried a completely new food thanks to FFwD. So far, they’ve both been hits! Let’s hope the trend continues…

  22. jora
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:12:55

    Great photos! I definitely like that Dorie makes me try new things, even if I don’t enjoy all of them.

  23. Helene (@MasalaHerb)
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:32:50

    I d love that once in a while, not often either. consider it as a special delicacy. ;)

  24. Christy Majors
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:48:32

    Love that little fish spreader, and your Scallions look like fish fins coming out the spread – very creative plating!

  25. oneexpatslife
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 12:31:40

    I actually ended up liking it, to me it tasted like a really good tuna salad. A little fancier than my usual mayo & whatever else I can find at the bottom of the fridge version anyway.

  26. Reem | Simply Reem
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 14:17:56

    This sounds really interesting…
    I have never tried sardines in a dip but after seeing this I have to try it …
    I am happy that this is not very fishy…. will try it for sure.

  27. suzisoutlook
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 14:19:23

    I don’t believe I have eaten sardines before but your dip looksvery tasty. Good for you rising to the challenge.

  28. Norma Chang
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 14:43:32

    I dislike tuna salad so If it tasted like tuna salad I don’t think I will try it. However if you decided to try this again may be use carmelized onion in place of the scallion.

  29. Tobias
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 14:44:09

    Well at least you have made it look as appetizin as it can. ;)
    The plate is just beautiful and I’m a little jealous. ;)

    Maybe with some experimenting (simply sautéing the scallions and onions beforehand?) you can create a version you’d thoroughly enjoy?

  30. Purely.. Kay
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 15:15:25

    Kudos to you.. because I don’t think I would’ve went ahead and bought the sardines lol. But I love trying something new so I may just give themn a try one day. This looks really good

  31. Parsley Sage
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 16:02:54

    You’re braver than me. There’s no way I’m eating a sardine. And certainly no way I’m eating raw onions.

  32. mary
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 16:27:16

    good for you!! I’ve been meaning to cook with sardines for a while but haven’t summonded up the courage – with this recipe – it’ll be a pleasure!
    Maryx
    x

  33. Kristin
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 16:38:44

    Sardines huh? My Nonnie would be all over this!

  34. Simply Life
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 19:38:20

    oh this is great to know! I’m definitely scared to try them- but you’re making it sound much more do-able!

  35. Necessity is the Mother of Invention
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 19:53:57

    Forgot to mention that I love the fish spreader!

  36. Betsy
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 20:22:41

    You should be proud of yourself for trying this! Kind of put your onion phobia in perspective. Nice job!

  37. ohfishiee
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 20:26:18

    the olive oil must be really tasty for the sardine :)

  38. Elaine
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 20:30:37

    That’s a huge baby step. Such a beautiful presentation and lovely post!

  39. maha
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 21:53:41

    Wow delicious..can just imagine the taste..yummy

  40. Kathy
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 22:29:10

    I have to say…I am not a sardine fan! However, I was going to give this a try…except I am visiting my daughter for the weekend! You made this dish look very good…lovely presentation!

  41. Mary Hirsch
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 22:43:57

    I am proud of everyone who tried the sardines. I didn’t. I loved your opening graph and your “baby steps” symbolism. I had one hell of a stressful week so just couldn’t add to it with the little fishs. The Rillettes de Thom is delicious. Mary

  42. greyhousejournal
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 23:51:11

    Growing up there was always a tin in the house and occasionally on weekends, my dad would make a treat for all of us. 3 or 4 sardines lined up and smooshed on a Saltine cracker. Thank goodness they were headless, lol! Don’t remember him ever deboning them though. May have to give this a try!

  43. Loveforfood
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 02:37:23

    Whoa, I should say the food sure LOOKS good!

  44. cooking-varieties (wan)
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 02:56:57

    hi yummy chunklet, at least you gave it a try- baby steps is a great achievement already. Soon you will be trying ten more and love them all.
    From your pic, the sardines does look like tuna and delicious too- with the biscuits,
    have a nice day

  45. Cakelaw
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 07:32:55

    I am with you on the onions – it was the onions that did me in when I ate it all at once, not the sardines. I only used one tin of sardines, and liked the rillettes enough that I ate my second tin of sardines on toast – pretty tasty. Love your little fishy spreader!

  46. Erin E
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 08:38:11

    Baby steps, absolutely! I am with you, I didn’t hate it (I didn’t mind the onion, but I had both cans of sardines too), but probably won’t make them again.

  47. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 09:12:43

    I eat sardine once in a while and this looks delicious and full of calcium! I love your fish spread knie. SUPER cute and perfect for this! ;-)

  48. kitchen flavours
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 09:50:53

    We love sardine! Hooray to you for trying it out! Thumbs up!

  49. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 10:45:40

    My first thought was what a sardine recipe, but she hates anchovies, will she like this. Ah, the old raw onions. I’ll take mine with a side of mustard and chase it with some Sambucca!

  50. Trix
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 14:51:28

    I will literally eat just about anything once, so I say good for you for going for it. Sardines are yummy!

  51. Just A Smidgen
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 18:54:42

    Good for you to try this recipe! I couldn’t.. don’t like sardines.. don’t even like the idea of sardines.. sadly!

  52. Louise
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 21:26:48

    I actually like sardines once in a while and Marion loves them. I think they are full of nutritional value too, Vitamin D, maybe. I must say though, I’ve never really tried to “dress them up” Perhaps, next time I will:)

    Kudos to you for taking the leap too. I guess that’s what’s so great about joining cooking groups.

    Thanks so much for sharing…

  53. RebeccaSubbiah RD (@chowandchatter)
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 21:39:20

    good for you for trying it looks great sorry you weren’t keen on it I love fish pastes

  54. atasteofmadess
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 00:31:54

    Oh yum! I’m very intrigued. It looks so good!

  55. ceciliag
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 09:21:53

    Oh dear, well you got through it.. on to the next challenge now! c

  56. Alice
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 09:47:50

    baby steps for sure! :) at least you found that you liked them! you should try them in a chicken caesar salad, its great! :)

  57. Ameena
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:04:30

    Sardines terrify me! Something about the way they look when you open the can…scary.

  58. Garden Correspondent
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 15:32:23

    I just bought scan of sardines in a lapse of reason, but now I have some idea of what to do with them. I’ll go easy on the onions, though- I’m onion averse, too.

  59. Anna @ the shady pine
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 16:08:46

    My mother always had tins of sardines in her pantry so we got quite used to eating them…I do wish however that she had some interesting variations like this to serve up!

  60. Miriam
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 16:32:22

    It looks a little like tuna fish salad :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  61. pencilkitchen
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 16:51:17

    This is too yummy to miss out! I’d love to have these while watching Scrubs!!

  62. Terra Baltosiewich (@CafeTerraBlog)
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 21:32:24

    I love when we can learn something new in flavors, or dishes, that is the fun in blogging, and being a foodie! This sounds really lovely for sure:-) Love your cute little fish knife, so fun!!! Hugs, Terra

  63. Angie@Angie's Recipes
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 03:53:15

    These crackers look more interesting ;-)

  64. Geni - Sweet and Crumby
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 14:59:14

    I love the little fish spreader. How apropos. I am not sure about sardines either, but I can’t say I have ever tried them. Hmmmm….

  65. sienna89
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 15:04:58

    have sardines in italy last summer, loved!

  66. heathersbytes
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 16:45:22

    Sardines were always something I thought I had no interest in trying until my grandpa put some on a cracker and had me taste it. I was won over pretty quickly :D This dip looks good, and I’m glad you ended up liking it! (And now I need to find those Wheat Thins!)

  67. Amy (Savory Moments)
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 17:18:44

    I love your little fish spreader! It’s adorable. I have a few different ones, but have never seen a fish. I have never eaten sardines, but was compelled to buy a can recently. Now maybe I know what to do with them!

  68. andi
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 19:04:40

    Well Miss Chucklet……..I used to eat sardines with my dad. He called me “toddy” so dad and I would open a can along with saltines. would I do it today…..Nope had my share……picture is beautiful and the knife yes the little fish knife is very cute. So you are going out on the limb and trying new things. Good girl andi

  69. ohfishiee
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 22:56:13

    i just had some tuna sandwich here, now i’d like to try the sardine one :) \

    Latest: World Best Sandwich 2012

  70. Katerina
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 06:06:59

    I always say to myself to be more open to tastes I avoid! It is such a great think to discover new flavors that you were hesitant to try in the past! I should do this with artichokes!

  71. Kitchen Belleicious
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 06:19:36

    i am one of the few that actually like sardines and this dip is for me! I love it! Thanks! So glad you are stepping out of your comfort zone- I think that makes us more creative and ambitious with our recipes:)

  72. JasmyneTea
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 08:32:11

    Yuck, I HATE sardines! At least you tried it though! Lol.

  73. kathleen
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 15:02:54

    Dorie is our cooking mom, always getting us to ‘take just a bite’ and hoping we will love it.

  74. sanyaliving
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 06:36:04

    Looks great with the biscuits!
    I really enjoyed this recipe.

  75. Meenakshi
    May 11, 2012 @ 13:37:29

    I adore that fishy knife!

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