Please, please would someone open a great fishmongers in central/south Bristol?? The two high streets near us have 5 butchers between them and zero fishmongers. And we’re really not that far from the sea! Anyway, these lovely sardines were picked up at the supermarket which is convenient, but we would love to be able to shop local and get an expert’s advice every now and then. This would have come in really handy when we got home and discovered that we had to gut the fish at which point Bird walked away and made herself very busy chopping tomatoes. Fats did a fab job though and they were soon cleaned up with minimal swearing.
Oily fish like sardines are great with really strong flavours like in our recipe with harissa and orange, but they also shine when cooked simply and served with some classic flavours. We grilled ours with just salt and pepper and served with thyme-roasted tomatoes, steamed broccoli and some freshly baked sourdough.
2-3 sardines per person
2 large handfuls of cherry tomatoes
Several sprigs of thyme
Salt & pepper
Green vegetables and bread to serve
To start with get the tomatoes roasting, these will cook on low for about 45 minutes until slightly dried out and the flavours have really intensified. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Cut the tomatoes in half and place in a roasting dish with 1 tbsp of olive oil, a good pinch of salt and pepper and then lay the thyme over the top. Place in the oven and leave for 45 minutes. Our grill is combined with our oven so when the time came to cook the fish we took the tomatoes out and left on the side – they kept really warm. Obviously if yours is separate then you can time it slightly differently so that they finish cooking while the fish grills.
Make three deep slashes in each side of the fish and then rub all over with olive oil and plenty of seasoning. Place them on a baking tray covered with foil for an easier clean up. Pop under a preheated grill – they should take about 5-8 minutes per side, when they have been bubbling and spitting away for a while they should be ready to flip over.
Serve with bread and green veg (or salad) and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over – so simple and delicious!
This will be our first ever breakfast/brunch post! We’re always posting pictures of our delicious brunches on our instagram, so we thought we’d share some inspiration with you. It doesn’t take much effort to make sardines on toast quite special! It’s also healthy and nutritious and pretty cheap. We served ours on fresh home made bread, using our usual recipe, with some added Three Malt and Sunflower Seed flour – delicious.
For 2 servings:
4 slices of bread, toasted (I’m sure you guys can figure this out!)
200 g cherry/baby plum tomatoes
1 60g tin sardines (in tomato sauce/olive oil)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper
Handful of fresh basil (optional)
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Half the tomatoes and add to the pan, and season well with salt and pepper. Cook until they are starting to soften, and then add a splash of water and the balsamic vinegar. Once they’re nice and soft and have started to form a sauce, add the sardines, making sure that any bones have been removed. Chop the basil and add it to the pan, if you want to. Heat through for a couple of minutes and then serve on top of the toast.
This is probably one of the shortest recipes we’ve ever posted. But sometimes all you need is a bit of inspiration! This is delicious with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, or just a nice cup of tea.
For anyone who likes spicy food (that definitely includes us!) harissa is something of a wonder ingredient. The chilli and other ingredients (usually red pepper, smoked paprika, garlic, rose, coriander, caraway…) combine to form an intoxicatingly fragrant and warm paste, and very often it is the only flavouring that you’ll need to add! In this case, we’re adding fresh orange to our harissa and sardine dish – the sweet, tangy flavour makes this a really indulgent meal. It’s really quick and easy too, perfect for a week night. We’ve based this on a recipe from the BBC food website – a great place to go for inspiration if you have a few ingredients you want to use.
Here’s what you’ll need for two people:
2 120g tins of sardines in olive oil
1-2 tsp harissa (depending on taste – and how strong your harissa is)
2 tbsp plain flour
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
200 g couscous
Small handful of gently toasted pine nuts (optional)
Sprinkle of fresh coriander (optional)
Start off by splitting the sardines down the spine, and taking out the big bones – don’t worry if they fall apart a bit. Now coat them in a mixture of plain flour and paprika, we find it’s easier if you sift together the two and then coat each piece of sardine separately. The flour will make the sauce go thick and silky smooth, and the paprika is just delicious…
When this is all ready, mix together the zest and juice of the orange, the harissa and the leftover oil from one of your tins of sardines. At this point you’ll probably want to put your couscous on to cook (as per packet instructions), as the rest of the cooking happens rather fast! Put a little of the leftover oil from the other tin of sardines into a frying pan on a medium-high heat, and add the flour-coated sardines. Fry until the flour has lost most of its colour – this should take about 2 minutes – then add the orange & harissa mix and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Serve the sardines over the couscous, and optionally top with the pine nuts and coriander – we didn’t have any fresh coriander to hand when we cooked this but it adds a really nice fresh flavour to the dish.