Pickled Cornish Sardines

Prep time 15 mins
Cooking Time 50 mins
Serves 2
For the pickled sardines
  • 6 MSC Cornish Sardines, butterflied fillets, cured for 1-2 hours
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 450ml cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp dill, finely chopped stalks

For the salad

  • 500g heritage tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 500g new potatoes, boiled
  • 6 caper berries
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dill, finely chopped
  • Handful of watercress
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sourdough to serve
  1. Start by salting your sardine fillets and leave to cure for 1-2 hours in the fridge. Make your pickling liquor by dissolving the sugar in vinegar over a medium heat with all your herbs and spices. Bring to the boil and add in red onion and garlic. Then allow to cool so it’s not scalding hot. Once the pickle is warm but not hot to touch pour over your cured sardines and leave to pickle for 20-30 minutes. If the pickle is too hot your sardine flesh will turn to mush and the texture will be too soft. Alternatively allow the pickle to cool to room temperature and leave the sardines submerged in the fridge overnight.
  2. Assemble your colourful summer salad by tossing the tomatoes, capers and potato with oil and dill. Season to taste and add in watercress. 
  3. Finally remove your pink pickled onions and the fillets of hot pickled sardines and lay over the salad. Blow torch the sardines skin to finish with a hint of char and add a few extra sprigs of dill to garnish. Serve with sliced sourdough. 

Ingredients

Method

For the pickled sardines
  • 6 MSC Cornish Sardines, butterflied fillets, cured for 1-2 hours
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 450ml cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp dill, finely chopped stalks

For the salad

  • 500g heritage tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 500g new potatoes, boiled
  • 6 caper berries
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dill, finely chopped
  • Handful of watercress
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sourdough to serve
  1. Start by salting your sardine fillets and leave to cure for 1-2 hours in the fridge. Make your pickling liquor by dissolving the sugar in vinegar over a medium heat with all your herbs and spices. Bring to the boil and add in red onion and garlic. Then allow to cool so it’s not scalding hot. Once the pickle is warm but not hot to touch pour over your cured sardines and leave to pickle for 20-30 minutes. If the pickle is too hot your sardine flesh will turn to mush and the texture will be too soft. Alternatively allow the pickle to cool to room temperature and leave the sardines submerged in the fridge overnight.
  2. Assemble your colourful summer salad by tossing the tomatoes, capers and potato with oil and dill. Season to taste and add in watercress. 
  3. Finally remove your pink pickled onions and the fillets of hot pickled sardines and lay over the salad. Blow torch the sardines skin to finish with a hint of char and add a few extra sprigs of dill to garnish. Serve with sliced sourdough. 
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