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Course: Appetizers
Keyword: Dips, Entertaining, Seafood

Pâté de Sardine

ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 1 cup, about 4 servings
I swap out liver for briny sardines in this fast and easy, but still fancy, appetizer.
I adore canned sardines. In fact, I'd say I am a connoisseur of the form, with favorite brands from the United States, France, Portugal, and Spain. I enjoy them right out of the can most of the time, but this pâté  is my absolute favorite way to consume them.
If you happen to drop by my place for hors d'ouvres, odds are, I'll serve this stuff with thin baguette toasts for dipping. If it's fancy, we'll spread instead.
Tightly wrapped, the pâté will keep for about 5 days. It doesn't freeze well, though, so...don't do that.
This recipe first appeared in EveryDayCook
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 2 cans oil-packed sardines (about 4 ounces each)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, or dill

Specialized Hardware

Food processor
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 1 cup, about 4 servings


  • Dump the sardines and their oil in the bowl of a food processor, along with the butter, shallot, and lemon juice, and process until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of the herbs and pulse 2 or 3 times.
  • Pack the pâté into a small ramekin (or back into the sardine cans). Smooth with a spatula, then top with the remaining 1 tablespoon hers. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm the texture.
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