Sardines on toast with sorrel and horseradish alioli
- June 2015
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 15 min, barbecue time 10 min
Sardines work beautifully cooked on a barbecue. The punchy horseradish and citrussy sorrel in this recipe add contrast to the rich, oily fish. You can find sorrel in season in the UK from around May.
- 33.9g (5.6g saturated)
- 13.9g (1.7g sugars)
- ½ red onion, finely sliced
- 3 tbsp cabernet sauvignon vinegar or other red wine vinegar
- 4 large slices good quality bread (sourdough would work well)
- Olive oil for drizzling
- 8 large sardine fillets or 4 butterflied sardines (ask your fishmonger)
- Juice ½ lemon
- Small bunch fresh sorrel leaves, stalks trimmed (see Know-how)
For the alioli
- 1 large free-range egg yolk
- ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1-2 tsp grated hot horseradish or horseradish sauce (to taste)
- 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 75ml vegetable oil
- Lemon juice
- White wine vinegar
- Light the barbecue (use plenty of charcoal), then make the alioli. Whisk the egg yolk either with an electric mixer or a balloon whisk in a bowl with the garlic, mustard, horseradish and some seasoning. Add a splash of water, then gently whisk in both oils in a slow, thin stream. The mixture should start to thicken after a minute or so. If it doesn’t, stop adding oil and whisk vigorously for a minute until it thickens, then carry on adding the oil. When all the oil is incorporated and you have a thick sauce, season with the lemon juice, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Put the red onion in a glass or ceramic bowl, then pour over the red wine vinegar and season well with salt. Drizzle the bread with olive oil, salt and pepper, then toast on the barbecue for 2 minutes on each side to char slightly. Set the slices aside, propped up so they don’t sweat.
- Season the sardines, brush well with oil, then barbecue (see tips) for 2 minutes until charred. Carefully flip with a fish slice or palette knife and cook for 1 minute more. Remove and squeeze over the lemon juice. Put the sorrel on the barbecue briefly to wilt, then remove.
- Spread alioli on the grilled bread, then top with sorrel, 1-2 sardine fillets and some red onion. Serve.
Get the barbecue searing hot before you start grilling and make sure the sardines are well oiled on both sides or they’ll stick. You can cook the sardines in a hot griddle pan – the same rules apply.
Make the alioli up to 3 days ahead and keep covered in the fridge. Pickle the onions a few hours in advance, leave them to soften in the vinegar, then drain and keep in a covered bowl.
Sorrel is a citrussy leaf that works brilliantly with sardines. Find it in large supermarkets or greengrocers, or use watercress, tossed in a squeeze of lemon juice (but don’t wilt it on the barbie).
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