The French’s love of butter really shows in this sardine pate recipe. The sardines make for a surprising rich, creamy spread that is delightful on baguette slices. If you ever wanted to learn how to make a pate, this is for you.
This French inspired recipe illustrates just how much the French really love their butter. In fact, they have butter shops that sell only handmade butter by artisans who spend their professional lives dedicated to the sweet dairy bliss known as beurre.
What an amazing life! Learning and perfecting a culinary trade in a niche corner of the food world, in France. If you have ever been to France then you can get the idea. Crafting with a singular food item, full time, nurturing your creations and feeling the joy experienced when one of your raving fans pops a little sliced baguette with some beurre into their mouths. Butter, bread, cheese, Bresse chickens, wine. All singular niches in the French food world, allowing for craftsmen to perfect their techniques for the betterment of the public.
In Paris, specialty shops are the norm, allowing for an incredible selection of finely crafted culinary creations within walking distance of your home. The shops are relatively close to each other so you could go shopping for all of your items simply by walking down the street. This also encourages people to slow down, take in the scene and people watch.
French butter has less water and more butter fat than what we are used to in the U.S. The butter also takes on a distinctive flavor from grass fed cows. The cows live a good life in the French countryside and are treated well. The resulting high-quality dairy they produce is a testament to how much the French revere this agricultural product.
Pate is simply cooked meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. The addition of butter makes this a rich spread, well complemented by a crusty baguette. The beauty of this is that it can be whipped up in minutes and can be made a head of time. This makes it ideal when you are hosting a dinner party. From this very basic recipe you can create an infinite number of variations such as adding; shallots & garlic, Sriracha & onions, sesame oil & soy sauce, fresh thyme & basil, you get the idea. It also whips up in 3 minutes, bonus! If you ever wanted to learn how to make a pate, this is your recipe. Embrace the challenge and enjoy the rewards.
This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Encyclopedia of World Cookery from 1958. The canned sardines and few ingredients sounded really intriguing so of course, I had to try.
- 1 can of sardines
- 1.5 oz butter
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place first 3 ingredients in a bowl, mash with fork.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, be careful on the salt as the sardines and lemon already add a nice balance.
- Pate can be used on toasted or fresh bread, as a veggie dip, wrapped in lettuce or as an ingredient in deviled eggs.