When I lived in Brooklyn, I was right down the street from a little German beer-hall-type place called Café Steinhof. They had a lot of little unassuming dishes on the menu that I eventually got addicted to, including their open-face sardine salad sandwich.
When I moved away, it seemed like a no-brainer to replicate this at home—sardines are cheap, you don’t have to worry about mercury, and they taste like a little bit of luxury whenever you break them out.
So here it is: drain the sardines, and mix and mash them with some mayo, salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, chopped onion or shallot and chopped fresh parsley, then some lemon zest and juice. Keep tasting and adding until it tastes right—it will be salty enough and bright from the lemon juice, and not fishy in the least. I recently had my friend Sana over for lunch—she is a great cook and has a good pedigree with regard to food, having grown up in Paris in a Swedish and Tunesian family—and when she raved about it, it reminded me how good it is. Add a few thinly-sliced radishes over the top, and you’ll be transported—at least as far as Brooklyn.