I halved this recipe in half, because let's face it folks, sherried sardine toast didn't sound too appealing at first.
I wasn't sure I was going to like this, but once it came together, it looked pretty good and tasted even better. The key is to get perfectly ripe avocado and nice crusty bread and the rest is just icing on the cake. The creamy avocado cuts through the saltiness and it's a perfect compliment to anchovies. I might have to stock some sardines in my cupboard regularly now. Thank you Alton.
Sherried Sardine Toast
adapted from Alton Brown
1 (3.75-ounce 2-layer) tins brisling sardines in olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves, divided (I used cilantro instead)
1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/8 teaspoon lemon zest, reserve the lemon and cut into 4 wedges
Freshly ground black pepper
2 (1/2-inch) thick slices crusty bread, such as sourdough, country loaf or rye
1/2 ripe Hass avocado
Coarse sea salt (optional)
Drain the oil from 1 tin of sardines into a small bowl and set aside. Drain the oil from the other tin into another small bowl and whisk in 1 tablespoon of parsley, vinegar, lemon zest, and black pepper, to taste. Add the sardines, stir to combine and set aside for up to 1 hour.
After 45 minutes, put a rack 3-inches from the broiler and heat the oven to the broiler setting on high. Brush each slice of bread on 1 side with the reserved oil. Put the bread, oil side up, onto a cooling rack set inside a half sheet pan and broil 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Smash the flesh in each half with a fork.
Spread the avocado evenly onto the toasted bread. Top evenly with the sardines. Pour any remaining dressing on top and garnish with the remaining parsley.
Season lightly with sea salt and serve with lemon wedges. I didn't add the sea salt and I thought the sardines were plenty salty enough. I would taste before adding any additional salt.