Tinned sardines – Pack them in…

By Georgie Socratous

Many of us know that the essential fatty acids and omega 3 found in oily fish are a key part of a well-balanced diet. It’s just really convenient that they are also absolutely delicious!

Tuna and mackerel are popular and versatile cupboard mates, but what about the humble sardine? And I’m thinking beyond the “on toast” method, though I admit it’s brilliant – the natural oiliness of the fish lends it self to being able to with stand cooking with out drying out. Sardines, or pilchards as they are also known, go very well with fresh herbs and slightly acidic ingredients such as lemon, vinegar and onions, which cut through the oil. So with that in mind, try one of these great ideas:

Pilchard pizza

Similar to the brilliant Stargazey flatbread pizza that used to be served at Jamie’s Union Jacks. Roll out a thin pizza base, cover it with tomato sauce with a dash of chilli and flake over some tinned sardines. Bake at full whack and then finish with some thinly sliced red onion and a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley.

Sardine spaghetti

Start by frying some sliced garlic, a little chilli, a handful of cherry tomatoes and a few capers. Cook the linguine, drain and toss with the garlic etc and a couple of sardine fillets and a drizzle of good-quality extra virgin olive oil.

Pilchard potato salad

Boil some new potatoes and make a dressing with natural yoghurt, a dash of red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, sliced spring onions and dill. Drain the potatoes, leave to cool slightly and then toss in the dressing. Flake in a few sardine fillets and sprinkle over some more freshly chopped dill.

Fishing often gets a bad reputation, but we’re spoilt for choice in the supermarket when it comes to watchfully sourced, good-quality canned fish. Take a little time to look for the Marine Stewardship Council mark (or similar). This indicates fish have been collected in a responsible manner, taking into account sustainability of stocks and the type of fishing method used.

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