Prune has a shortlist of dishes that truly represent Gabrielle Hamilton, none that do so as profoundly as Canned Sardines. This dish is very simple but has a lot of freight. Canned Sardines has been on the menu since Prune opened and it’s been in Gabrielle’s life since she was born. It’s the snack, the sustenance, of Gabrielle’s entire existence, from digging around in the pantry looking for something to eat as a child to surviving her early days in New York City on a jar of change.
As she herself says, people don’t come to a restaurant for someone to open a can, but this is one of those plates that Gabrielle wants to present verbatim. She doesn’t want to interpret it or gourmet it up or fake it. She wants you to have the real food, the way it was.
Canned Sardines with Triscuits, Dijon Mustard, and Cornchons
1 can sardines in oil
1 dollop Dijon mustard
small handful cornichons
small handful Triscuit crackers
1 parsley bunch
- Buckle the can after you open it to make it easier to lift the sardines out of the oil without breaking them.
- Stack the sardines on the plate the same way they looked in the can – more or less. Don’t crisscross or zigzag or otherwise make “restauranty.”
- Commit to the full stem of parsley, not just the leaf. Chewing the stems freshens the breath.
Reprinted with permission from Prune.