We’ve raved about sardines a lot, and just feel that they deserve a lot more love than they get. As part of our supermarket challenge we picked up 18 beautiful Cornish (even better) sardines for just £3! Perfect for feeding a crowd or filling up your freezer with.
Cornish sardines have a long season, from late June to February so there is plenty of time to get your hands on them, and they are a fantastic sustainable option. A huge amount of our sardines are sent off to countries like Portugal and Spain – so when you are sitting by the sea on holiday tucking into some it may well have come from Cornish shores! Cheap, tasty, sustainable and supporting the Cornish fishing industry – some big ticks for us.
But did you know a sardine is actually he same as a pilchard? They are exactly the same fish, the smaller ones just tend to be called sardines. The name change was actually part of a rebrand to try and encourage more Brits to buy them to cook up at home. There’s a great piece on The Independent all about the rebrand which is worth a read.
Here we have simply butterflied them and topped with a herby crust. You can ask the fishmonger in store to do the butterflying for you if you don’t fancy doing it yourself.
Butterflied Baked Sardines serves 2
- Six sardines
- Two slices of white bread
- Handful of parsley
- Zest of one lemon
- Salad to serve
- Start off by butterflying your sardines. Slice through the sardine just past the head and remove.
- Then run your knife underneath (the fish belly!) along the line.
- Once the fish has been scored you can turn it inside out, leaving the tail on to hold it all together.
- Gut the fish by removing all of the organs inside, leaving you just with the flesh.
- Remove the middle bone, cutting off just before the tail.
- Lightly rinse the fish to ensure all of the guts have been removed.
- Place in a baking tray skin side down.
- Preheat the oven to 220C.
- Blitz the white bread and the parsley in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor grating the bread will do a good job, and then just finely chop the parsley.
- Zest the lemon juice into the breadcrumb mixture and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Take a tablespoon of the breadcrumb mix per sardine and place on top. Press down slightly so it stays on the fish.
- Place in the oven for five minutes until the topping is golden brown.
- Serve up alongside a big pile of salad and pretend you are by the sea.