Sardine Pate

I really like sardines and find myself making this easy pâté regularly.  Sardines are named after Sardinia, the Italian island where large schools of these fish are commonly found.  These small, saltwater, silvery, soft-boned fish are at the bottom of the aquatic food chain, feeding mostly on plankton.  As a result, sardines do not concentrate heavy metals, such as mercury, and other contaminants, as do larger fish.  Sardines are fairly inexpensive but extremely nutrient-dense.  They are an excellent source of vitamin B12 and the mineral selenium, and a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin D and phosphorus.  Sardines also contain calcium, iodine, copper and choline.  When buying canned sardines look for those packed in water or olive oil, avoiding those packed in vegetable oils, such as soybean oil.  

1 (4 oz.) can sardines, drained
2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
1 scallion or ½ small onion, minced
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Using a fork, mash together cream cheese, butter and sardines until smooth.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled on your favorite crackers or toast.  I prefer this spread atop slices of a medium-boiled egg.