It’s pronounced ‘Ree-yett’, and no, I didn’t know that either, having only ever seen it written down. The first time I heard the word out loud, I was having dinner at the cookery writer Xanthe Clay’s house in 2014 some time, and she produced a home made jar of rabbit rillettes. I gobbled half the jar, and still haven’t got around to procuring the recipe from her. For the uninitiated, rillettes is a chunky rough pâté, served a little cooler than room temperature and best smeared on warm toast. I couldn’t do Xanthe’s rabbit rillettes justice in a reconstruction, so here’s a sardine one, all of my own.
Serves 4, from 25p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change.
zest and juice of 1 lemon or 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, 6p (£1/500ml)
salt and pepper, 1p
First, peel and very finely dice the onion, then dice it some more, then dice it again. You want it minced, virtually undetectable, in teeny tiny pieces.
Remove the sardines from the cans, keeping the oil. Carefully open each one down the back and belly with a small sharp knife: remove the backbone and any large visible bones. Discard the bones, and put the sardines into a bowl.
Chop the parsley, discarding any particularly tough stalks. Mash the sardines with a fork, then add the onion and the parsley.
Grate over the lemon zest, if using, squeeze in the juice, and mix well with a fork to form a rough paste.
Season (salt and pepper) to taste. It can be served immediately, or chilled and brought to near room temperature to serve. I like mine spread on hot toast, then dunked in tomato soup for a quick, lazy dinner.
Recipe from ‘A Year In 120 Recipes’ by Jack Monroe. Like this? Made it? Comment below!
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All text copyright Jack Monroe.