Posts Tagged ‘sardines’

Red, pink, pale green, darker greenpurple/black and white are the colors looking up at you from the bowl on the table. Add the dressing and turn the contents over and your fork will start jabbing in–involuntarily.

Tomatoes, cucumber (peeled or unpeeled), peppers (red or green), sweet (red) onion, black olives, feta cheese, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper. 

A glass of retsina, blue blue sky, a dry summer heat, a swimming pool or blue blue sea.

The first nine ingredients are the essentials, the last five are preferable–but not obligatory–as they are not always available!

It works best if the tomatoes and cucumber are sun-ripe and juicy but the contrasting tastes of the feta, the olives, olive oil, vinegar and seasoning make this national dish worth eating anytime, anywhere.

Chunks, curls, slices and slabs lend a spirit of generosity to the brimming bowls presented here in Corfu.

The olives here in Corfu are the kalamata variety, similar to the small black olives that feature in that other summer wonder–Salade Niçoise. Their faint bitterness  balances the sweetness of the tomatoes and cucumber.

The grilled sardines–small but meaty–arrived on a large plate, filling it from edge to edge.

I put down the knife and fork in the end and ate them with my fingers. It took a while.

Greek salad would have made a simple, clean and contrasting accompaniment with or without the cheese–no room though!

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It’s a beautiful pre-summer day and there were some fresh looking sardines at Intermarché in Realmont.

A bit early to be thinking “summer lunches” but we need cheering up, so I bought three each–juicy ones–and butterflied them.

We had them baked with a simple fennel salad which cuts the richness of the sardines.

Butterscotch is still not well–in fact poor mite–she’s worse and so thin.

Butterscotch aka little Mother

She wants to eat and to go on as usual and doesn’t understand why she can’t.

She came out into the garden this morning while we did the exercise routine with our friend Flo and was “with us”–as cats often like to be.

Going over to Flo she did one of those wonderful cat “rolls” they do for you– “it’s a greeting” Meredith says.

She managed it and even did a return roll–that lifted our spirits.

She is twelve now and some systems seem to be failing her.

“On s’attache”–“you grow fond”–of your pets and it’s hard.

Here’s the recipe to cheer you up after reading this!!

For 2

6 firm and fresh sardines–butterflied (see below)

100gms/4 oz wholewheat breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon parsley–chopped

2 garlic cloves–chopped fine

1 tablespoon of capers–chopped

a pinch of dried oregano

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

Heat the oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 if using.

Butterfly filleting is a bit of a business but rewarding.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. Make sure

there are no scales left on the fish, then with the head in your

left hand and the body in your right, gently pull the head off
and as much of the innards as possible from the tail end. 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 as much as you can with three
fingers of both hands. Lift and snip off the small fin, then snip
the backbone at the tail end and, with the left hand, draw it
carefully away from the body, taking care not to take too
much of the flesh with it. Voila! You have a butterfly fillet.

  • Wash and dry the fillets
  • Place a sheet of foil on a shallow baking tray
  • Using a brush if you have one it spread it with a tablespoon of oil.
  • Place the fillets on the tray.
  • In a bowl combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, capers, oregano and season with the salt and pepper.
  • Pour over a tablespoon of olive oil and mix it all together thoroughly.
  • Spoon the mixture evenly over the fillets.
  • Drizzle over the remaining olive oil adding a little extra if you feel it needs it.
  • before baking

  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • and–after baking

I let them have a minute under a hot grill this morning to finish off.

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