Sardines with courgette and nut salad

Sardines with courgette and nut salad

By
From
Everyday Seafood
Serves
4 as a starter or light lunch

I love the freshness and textures of this salad: the tender courgettes, crunchy nuts, zingy dressing and oily goodness of the fish. The sardines need to be spanking fresh, but if you can’t get hold of any really fresh sardines, then mackerel, sprats or herring will work. Failing that, I have made this recipe with really good quality tinned sardines.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8 sardines, scaled, gutted and butterfly filleted
olive oil, for cooking
1 lemon, zest finely grated
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the courgette and nut salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
3 large courgettes
50g roasted peanuts, chopped
50g roasted cashews, chopped
50g pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped dill

For the lemon dressing

Quantity Ingredient
100ml olive oil
1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
100ml groundnut oil

Method

  1. Preheat your grill to its highest setting.
  2. For the dressing, whisk the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and the oil together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the red onion to the dressing and leave to stand for 10 minutes; this will take the raw edge off the taste.
  4. Meanwhile, using a mandoline if you have one, cut the courgettes into matchsticks and place in a bowl. Remove the red onion from the dressing with a slotted spoon and add to the courgettes with 6 tbsp of the dressing; mix well. Set aside. Reserve the rest of the dressing.
  5. To cook the sardines, lay the butterflied fillets skin side down on an oiled grill tray. Season the flesh side with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the lemon zest, then turn the fillets over. Place the tray under the grill and cook the fillets skin side up for about 4 minutes until they are cooked through, then remove from the tray.
  6. Add the cooking juices from the grill tray to the courgettes and toss to combine. Add the nuts and chopped dill, mix gently, then share the salad equally between 4 warmed plates. Lay the butterflied sardines on top and drizzle with the rest of the dressing.
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