Sardine Hummus on pita

It all started this weekend when my friend Phoebe, who often assists  me with my cooking projects was telling my neighbor Mary, who  helps me consume my kitchen projects, ” You remember Mary thatspiced fish that she made that was so good?”, and turning to me ” You know it is time you did it again”; hmmm.. I remember, they had helped put the scales (lemon and lime slices) back on that fish; no, I am in no mood for a grand dish  like this right before Easter!

A while later, I was surfing French food blogs and I saw some rillettes de sardine, a sort of pâté, with crème fraîche and canned sardines.

… that’s it! I can make a Lebanese version of rillettes, a hummos with sardines, using  a simplified version of the spiced fish that Phoebe and Mary and everybody else loved  so much.  After all, nobody out there seems to have any  qualms about reinventing hummos!

INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings

Time required: 20 minutes

  • 2 cans of sardines (about 4 ounces each or 250 g total)
  • 2/3  cup of  tahini
  • 4  cloves of garlic, mashed with a dash of salt
  • 2/3  cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro (or parsley)
  • a few celery sticks to garnish (optional)
  • 3 or more pita bread, cut into fish shapes (or triangles for chips); use the scraps for pita croutons, fried or toasted.


  1. Place the pita cut-outs in the oven at 300F for 15 minutes until toasted and light brown.
  2. Drain the sardines and pat dry with paper towels.


  1. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan; add the chopped cilantro and mashed garlic. Let the mixture sizzle for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the tahini, lemon juice and stir rapidly; you will notice that it will curdle, keep stirring, adding water gradually until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds; taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lemon juice or water if needed.


  1. Place in a food processor the sardines  with the tahini mayonnaise.
  2. Pulse a few times until the mixture is mashed and smooth; taste for seasoning.
  3. Cut a few celery sticks if using and line them up on a plate.
  4. Cover the pita cut-outs with the sardine hummos and place on top of the celery sticks, garnishing with a caper or a raisin  for the fish eye and a  slice of lemon for the scales.
  5. Serve at room temperature.

NOTE: Pick sardines that are deboned and skinless to save yourself some time, otherwise you will have to debone them and skin them a bit.

You can substitute tuna in oil for the sardines; rinse it thoroughly before using.

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  1. Posted March 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    This looks like such a fun way to eat sardines! I bet the kids must love it.

  2. Posted March 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I recently had sardines with tahini for the first time ever. I’m not usually a sardine fan, but it was really good! This dish is absolutely lovely!

  3. Posted March 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh I’m so happy to have found your blog. I can’t wait to spend time reading it and cooking from it. I LOVE Lebanese food. My brother-in-law is from Beirut and he is a marvelous cook!


  4. Posted March 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that looks great! Do you think it would work if I substituted anchovies for the sardines (I have some wonderful jarred sardines I’ve been itchin to use!)

  5. Posted March 29, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I love sardines……In Colombia it is popular to eat them this time of year (passover). That looks wonderful.

  6. Posted March 29, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I love sardines and this looks such a fun dish to make! yummy!

  7. Posted March 29, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    such a creative way to cook,looks so good….am sure it was fun making this one…

  8. Posted March 29, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Those are so cute!

  9. Posted March 29, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    What a fun presentation! Great way to jazz up your hummus! :) I’d love to try this!

  10. Posted March 30, 2010 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Great idea. This looks sooo good. I love sardines!

  11. Posted March 30, 2010 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this beautiful hummus, my kids will definitely love this..cute fish!!

  12. Posted March 30, 2010 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    I’ve never had sardine hummus, but that looks and sounds great!



  13. Posted March 30, 2010 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Talk about the creativity! These look so cute!

  14. Posted March 30, 2010 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    I am a big fan of sardines and anchovies – can I try this with anchovies too?!? Beautiful presentation!

  15. Posted March 30, 2010 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    This might be just the thing to get me over my nervousness about trying sardines for the first time. If they’re good enough for my dad, good enough for Alton Brown and good enough for a beautiful dish like this, they must be good enough for me!

  16. Posted March 30, 2010 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Fascinating! I have never heard of a sardine hummos, but I can see how the flavors would work really well together. And, what a fun way to present it!

  17. Posted March 30, 2010 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    My kids would love this, especially my oldest who loves sardines and hummous! Lovely presentation throughout this blog and nice creative recipes. I love the interplay of classic recipes and modern interpretation. Keep it up! Ma Salama.

  18. Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    My hubby would love this dish. It is beautiful! What a nice presentation.

  19. Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I’m in awe of the beautiful fish shapes!! Such a gorgeous presentation!! I’m also always very excited about new versions of hummous… :-) You must have read my mind the other day, because I was in the store thinking to myself (I really need to start cooking with sardines again) – and now, lo and behold, here is your gorgeous recipe! Thank you!! :-)

  20. Neighbor Mary
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Joumana, I missed the sardines and hummous! Where is the wheat, raisin, nut receipe that I had the other night. I remember Phoebe said it took 10min to make but I didn’t see it under the “quick and easy” section.

  21. Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Very creative,love the idea of sardines in hummus :D

  22. Posted March 30, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    You are so creative & what fun to make this tasty fish combination!! I bet involving kids would be such fun to make this tasty flavoured dish!! Oooh,…yes!!!

    Very appetizing too!!!

  23. Jagruti
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    nice and lovely dish! also loved your swees chard cake! tempting

  24. Posted March 30, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Sardines r my favorite. Your presentation of the dish makes me want to eat some right now!

  25. Posted March 30, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this great recipe; how awesome. In addition, thank you for stopping by my blog and taking the time to post a comment, which was very much appreciated. Have a wonderful day!

  26. Posted March 30, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Looks like a ‘fun’ thing to make. This is on my to make list.

  27. Posted March 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    These have to be some of the most gorgeous things I’ve seen in a long time. The photos are beautiful.

  28. Posted March 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    this is very very creative Miss Joumana… I love this idea
    way to go my friend

  29. Posted March 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I once thought of myself as a Hummos “purist.” Now, I’m sure I am not!!! I can almost taste the attraction of this blend of ingredients, as I oogle your “eye-catching” fish presentation. Wonderful for Easter or perhaps, Good Friday!

    Another post added to my “Someday Soon” recipe file. Thank you so much for sharing, Joumana. Oh how I adore your blog…

  30. Posted March 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    These are cute!

  31. Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    These are soo cute. What a fun little bites

  32. Posted March 30, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    how kids would love these


  33. Posted March 31, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I’ve never had sardine hummus, but that sounds delicious! I really love your presentation, so cute!

  34. Posted March 31, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Interesting pate you have made! and great kid friendly presentation! love it joumana!

  35. Posted March 31, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    These are adorable. You are such a creative cook!

  36. Posted April 1, 2010 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    J’adore l’idée de la mayonnaise au tahini (c’est mon grand truc, en ce moment, de customiser les mayo et autres aïolis).

  37. Posted April 1, 2010 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Hi Joumana. I “grabbed” this link to include in a post I did today. Hope you don’t mind, I just couldn’t resist:)

    Thanks for sharing…

  38. Posted April 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I bet this Hummos is so flavourful with the sardines. Great idea cutting the pita into little fish.

  39. Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    No one does have any qualms about reinventing hummos. Every version under the sun. And isnt it funny they call it hummos when it has no chickpeas in it.

    I do like your version. I would love to try it. Maybe as a taste test I will eat some sardines with my humos tonight for dinner.

    Did your neighbor/friends like this version?

  40. Posted April 2, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I usually eat sardines straight out of the can , this is such an intresting way to use them and I love the pita/fish cutouts.

  41. Posted April 3, 2010 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Oooooh, I’m so excited. Shapes out of pita bread. I never would of thought of that. The mind boggles. Oh the different shapes. Thank you so much. I am definitely going to be doing this one!!

  42. Posted April 4, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    I am all over this!!

    Thanks and
    Welcome to the Society!!

  43. Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    This looks very good. i’ll be trying this out soon.

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