Posts Tagged ‘diabetes-friendly recipe’


Sardines for lunch. Well, it’s summer–almost.

Tomorrow is the Solstice.

I was in Castres market by 7h30 this morning, as it came alive.

Late arrivals still unloading last night’s pickings–manoeuvring their vehicles between the early punters, bantering with their neighboring marchands, already set-up and selling.

It’s the best time to go on a Saturday–before the throng chokes up the passageways.

Peaches, raspberries and strawberries confirm the season–only one stall now of asparagus.

Green beans are in–but expensive.

Courgettes and shiny black aubergines! Tomatoes look tempting but are bound to disappoint. The sun hasn’t had time to do it’s magic. Still with a swirl of best olive oil, they’ll complement the sardines and help us with the gear change into the new season.

Officialy summer–but who knows these days…?

Two weeks ago it felt like August in Florence–32C/90F.

To filet a sardine (not for the squeamish, perhaps!)

[Video versions below]

You’ll need a chopping board and plenty of kitchen paper.

Have a pair of scissors to hand and a plate to receive the fillets.

The fishmonger scales the sardines. Check that there are no scales left on the fish, then with the fishhead in your left hand and the body in your right, gently pull the head off–drawing out as much of the innards as possible.


Use the scissors to snip along the belly,


then with your left thumb coax out the rest of the innards.


Place the fish, belly down, on the board and press gently up and down the backbone with both thumbs.


Flatten the fish.

Lift and snip off the small fin, discarding it.



then snip the backbone at the tail end…


…and, with the left hand, peel it gently away from the body, taking care not to take too much of the filet with it.


Voila! You have a butterfly fillet!


12 firm and fresh sardines–butterflied

The stuffing:

100gms/4 oz wholewheat breadcrumbs

Mix in:

1 tablespoon parsley–chopped

2 garlic cloves–chopped fine

1 tablespoon of capers–chopped

a pinch of dried oregano (optional)

1 tbs olive oil

salt and pepper

set oven at 180C

Cover a shallow oven tray with foil and lightly brush it with oil.

Lay out the butterflied fillets.

Cover them not too thickly with the stuffing–a teaspoon lends a helpful guide.

Bake on the top shelf of the oven for ten minutes–less or more depending on the size of the sardines.

I like to finish them under a hot grill for about 30 seconds.









And now here’s the video version of how to butterfly a sardine:

And Part Two illustrates how to stuff the butterflied sardines:

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I was surprised to see locally grown green peppers–(they are lighter and thinly fleshed)–in the market yesterday, nudging small white peaches on a new stall.

Everything is so late this year.


I remembered a recipe I used to do years ago from Antonio Carluccio’s Vegetables book. Very Italian–simple and different.

The peppers are cooked whole in olive oil. They collapse, charring nicely and are finished in a quickly cooked tomato sauce.

If these particular peppers are unavailable use thicker fleshed ones–deseeded and cut into largish pieces.

500gm/1lb green peppers–tops and seeds removed

6 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves–chopped

14oz/400gm tin of tomatoes–drained of their juice and roughly chopped (fresh sun -ripe tomatoes, skinned and seeded would be good too)

salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a deepish pan.

When the oil is hot carefully slide in the peppers–you may have to do this in two batches.

Turn them as they collapse and brown, for about 5 minutes–they should be tender.

Set them aside and spoon off four tablespoons of the oil–(I used this oil for sautéing later).

Slip the garlic into the oil.

When it starts to colour, mix in the chopped tomatoes.

Cook these over a high heat for five minutes to form a sauce.

Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the peppers and cook on for another five minutes.

We ate these for supper last night served on lightly sautéed (in the excess oil) slices of leftover chickpea “bread” .


A recipe remembered and reclaimed.

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