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Lemon Is Key To Offsetting Anchovies' Pungent Taste

anchovies served with lemon
anchovies served with lemon - FotosDo/Shutterstock

Whether you're tucking anchovy paste into a dish or have planned to serve up these smaller slivers of fresh fish straight off the grill, sardines deliver a savory, umami-packed-tasting experience for chefs to play with. The rich fish admittedly requires a bit of know-how to use with confidence, but with only a few ingredients you can be on your way to serving up dishes that leave your dinner guests reaching for me.

If you're not quite sold on the flavor profile of sardines, lemon can help cut the louder notes of this ingredient. Lemon's bright freshness can tame the savory aspect of sardines, so if you want to add a bit of a savory flavor without the punchy pungent complexity, you have options. Consider using not only squeezes of lemon in your recipes but also grated zest to bring a refreshing aspect to your sardine-based meals. Once you've opened up to the world of lemon-flavored sardines, your sauces, stews, favorite pasta recipes, and even go-to pizza toppings are in for a rich and satisfying upgrade.

Read more: 15 Different Ways To Cook Fish

A Fresh Upgrade For Your Favorite Recipes

fillets sardines on cutting board
fillets sardines on cutting board - Mediterranean/Getty Images

Ligurian chefs marinate anchovies in lemon, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and herbs, but you'll want to plan in advance if you take this approach so that the fish can bathe in their lemony sauce for several hours before serving. If you're short on time or feeling peckish, however, a quick meal of spaghetti made with lemon and anchovies can expertly address cravings for a savory dish with fast results.

Pairing lemon-based sauces and spreads with anchovies is another home-run of a tactic. Prepare garlic aioli with lemon juice added to a blend of extra virgin olive oil, mayonnaise, your choice of capers or olives, and finely minced garlic. Salt, season, and store the creamy creation to have on hand to pair easily with sardines for an easy snack. Placed on top of freshly toasted bread or crackers and garnished with garden herbs and seasoned salt, your lineup of snack-time favorites may forever be changed now that you know how to prepare sardines to your liking.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.