13 August 2006

A good thing to do with sardines

A few weeks ago I spent a fruitless morning going round the fish stalls of Borough Market trying to find sardines. I didn't know sardines had a "season", but maybe they do. Anyway, Furness Fish and Game had piles of lovely fresh ones on Friday, so I bought half a dozen. Typically, I can't now remember the recipe I wanted to cook with them! So after a bit of searching I went for Jamie Oliver's "Stuffed, Rolled and Baked Sardines with Pine Nuts and Fresh Herbs", from his "Naked Chef" book (his first, with him looking impossibly young on the cover, when "pukka" was only associated with grotty pies and before we realised that he was going to take over the world and become prime minister). You'll find it on pages 98-99, and it's a cracking recipe. A bit fiddly, admittedly - lots of "finely chopped" things and boning raw sardines, but once you've put it together you're eating it within 10 minutes, and the succulent fish and explosion of herby flavours is fantastic. Well worth the 40 minutes of prep. I finely chopped the garlic, too, even though it doesn't say this in the recipe. Seemed strange to have a whole clove floating around. We ate it with home grown green salad and some left over "farro semiperlato" (see separate post on this blog), the latter not being much of a match. Some tomato salad would have been better. Washed down with a bottle of Lagar de Cervera Albarino from Spain's Rias Baixas region, an excellent wine typically available for about a tenner which we've had on several occasions. The 2003 is just going over a bit, but it's a great example of the lemony, fruity, floral flavours of the Alborino grape. We've always bought it from Laymont and Shaw, a specialist Iberian and South American importer based in Truro, Cornwall, but I've seen it in several other vintners.

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