If you had told me 10 years ago that I would love smoked herring, my teenage self would have called you crazy. But last summer, I did what everyone who’s ever shopped at a Trader Joe’s has done. I stumbled across something new and interesting and threw it in my basket.
Last summer, it was smoked herring. I am a fiend for smoked salmon, but that stuff gets expensive in a hurry. For about $2 a tin, these kippers seemed like a steal, and I love trying new things.
The herring was just the right amount of salty and oily, and not too fishy, at least not for me. The smoky flavor is nice and strong, which calls for equally strong flavors to pair with it.
Being gluten-free, I’m often forced into buying rice crackers, whether I like them or not. I usually find the rice flavor overpowering, but they stood up nicely to the fish.
I happened to have a couple of juicy heirloom tomatoes on hand – ’twas the season for splurging on fancy produce – and thick cuts of tomatoes paired with a generous dab of garlic spread (also from TJs) complemented the herring and crackers better than I could have imagined.
This snack is now my go-to for hot summer days. Try it with my Blood Orange Gin & Tonic and my Prosciutto Pea Salad.
Smoked Herring and Tomatoes on Crackers
- 10 rice crackers
- ¼ cup garlic spread (see note)
- 1 large, very ripe tomato, preferably heirloom, sliced thick and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 6-ounce tin smoked herring, packed in oil
- 2 ounces fresh basil
- Assemble your snacks: Give each cracker a generous swipe of garlic spread, followed by a tomato slice, a piece of herring and a basil leaf. Enjoy!