Simple But Flavorful: Sardine & Kale Rillette Recipe

A French dish refined with some Texan twists

This is one of those recipes that I got from my French mother-in-law and appropriately bastardized to suit my tastes.

Cream cheese, kale, and hot sauce are not commonplace in France, but I thought that these ingredients offered her classic appetizer recipe a nice twist. Despite being a simple dish to prepare, it packs a lot of flavor into each bite and is especially wonderful on fresh-baked sourdough. Although I wouldn’t say no to eating it on a cracker either!

Sardine & Kale Rillette


1 tin oil-packed sardines

1 bunch fresh kale

2 tbsps capers

1 lemon + zest

4 green onions

1/3 stick room temperature butter

1/3 stick room temperature cream cheese


Dash of citrus-based hot sauce (optional)



1. Fry kale in grapeseed oil in a pan over medium heat. Once it is crunchy, let it cool off to one side.

2. While the kale cools, drain sardines and then mash the fish with a fork until shredded.

3. Chop green onions into thin rings.

4. Add capers, zest of one lemon, green onions, and fish into a bowl and mix.

5. Once combined add the juice of half a lemon and pepper. (You can add more lemon if you like tangy.) Add room temperature kale.

6. At this point, you can add as much or as little hot sauce as you like.

7. Add half of the cream cheese and half of the butter to the bowl and mix thoroughly.

8. Continue to add small amounts of both binding ingredients until you achieve the desired consistency, which should be spreadable but not too smooth.

9. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until firm.

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