Cornish Sardines with Watercress & Red Onion Salad
This is a deliciously fresh dish, ideal as a starter or a light lunch now that the sun is shining. Make sure your sardines are sustainably sourced certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and/or Marine Conservation Society.
- 8 Cornish sardines
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 200g Watercress
- 50g blanched almonds, roasted & roughly chopped
For the pickling liquid
- 300ml red wine vinegar
- 160g caster sugar
- ½ tbsp celery salt
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp white mustard seeds
- ½ tsp white peppercorns
- 1 star anise
- For the dressing
- 50ml sherry vinegar
- 100ml cold pressed rapeseed oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- Pre heat oven at 200°c
- Place all the ingredients into a medium, heavy bottom pan. Bring to the boil, dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid & leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
- When the pickle has cooled to an ambient temperature pour straight over the thinly sliced red onion. Leave for at least 20 minutes.
- Place the almonds on an oven proof tray and roast for around 10 minutes, turning the almonds with a metal spoon every 2 minutes or until golden brown.
- Heat a medium sized non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add 50ml of rape seed oil to the pan, place the sardines skin side down and carefully shallow fry for 2 minutes on either side.
- Once cooked remove the sardines from the pan and place two fish on each plate.
- For the dressing: deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar, the rest of the oil and the roasted almonds.
- Then, in a large mixing bowl add the red onion, watercress and the dressing. Toss the salad gently, season to taste and arrange neatly on the plate next to the sardines.
- Garnish with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkle of Cornish sea salt …