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Paula Wolfert ’s Avocado Sardine Toasts

Maggie’s food hero Paula Wolfert believes this recipe to be a wonderful example of “brain food”.

A combination of silky, paper-thin slices of ripe avocado and marinated fat strips of salty sardine fillets topped with crisp strings of scallions and chives makes for a great textural contrast; and is easy to duplicate and hard to forget.


Make a parsley vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil with the parsley and vinegar in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the sardines, divide into fillets, and soak in the vinaigrette for at least 1 hour. For easier slicing, chill the avocado in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Using a mandolin or a 1mm slicing blade, carefully slice the avocado paper-thin. Remove the skin and pit as you slice. Grill the bread, turning once on a grill over hot coals or in a fry pan with a little butter or oil until nicely browned on both sides. Drain the sardine fillets and lightly brush the toasts with the vinaigrette. Pile 3 or 4 slices of avocado onto each toast, top with a portion of the sardines, and scatter scallions (spring onions, shallots) and a few chives on top. Serve at once.