RECIPE: Sardines with Sicilian fennel salad and new potatoes

I like to think I do my best to eat as responsibly and ethically as I can (apart from the odd takeaway) free range chicken and eggs, pole caught fish, rope grown mussels, outdoor reared pork and so on, but with everything in the news at the moment about overfishing and dwindling fish stocks, I’ve been feeling more than a little bit uneasy about eating the amount of fish I do.  

I’m not going to pretend I am the world’s greatest authority on the state of our oceans, but reading between the lines, we have pretty much fucked them up irrepairably.

I’ll post some links at the bottom of this post to some interesting articles I found about this on the net.  For those of you that can’t be bothered to read them, shame on you, but there is a diagram below that illustrates which fish species are in danger.


Sardines (European pilchards) are at the top of the green list so I slept easy the night I ate this. 

It’s another back of the net recipe from The BBC Good Food website, I’m always going on about it, but it really is fantastic, so do check it out!


Juice and zest of 1 large lemon

bunch of parsley , half the leaves kept whole, the other
half finely chopped
1 small garlic clove , finely chopped
1 fennel
bulb with fronds
50g toasted
pine nuts
green olives*, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil  
4 large sardines, scaled and gutted

*I would have loved to have included the olives in my version but Mr P&P DOGGEDLY refuses to even try olives, damn him.

I got all of these little beauties for the bargain price of £1.50, the woman that sold them to me was an absolute sweetie too. I asked how fresh were and she earnestly told me that they’d come in that day, from Cornwall, and how important it is to eat them when they’re as fresh as possible because oily fish don’t age well at all.  Bless.

  • Preheat a dry pan and then toast the pinenuts in it, ensuring to keep them moving so they colour evenly all over, then set aside.

  • Mix the lemon
    zest, chopped parsley and garlic together, then set aside.


  • Pick the fronds from the fennel and set aside. Halve the fennel
    bulb and finely slice. Make the salad by mixing the sliced fennel and
    fronds with the pine nuts, raisins and remaining parsley leaves and then dress with the lemon juice and olive oil.     


  1. June 20, 2012 / 4:25 am

    I see lots of food bloggers and cookbooks using fennel for their salad and cooking but never try eating or cooking fennel before. Your fennel salad compliment well with sardine dish… Yum!

    This is my first time visiting your blog and love to be back for more. I'm your latest blog follower and twitter follower 😀

    • June 21, 2012 / 7:31 am

      🙂 Thanks Zoe, really pleased you like it!
      Fresh fennel is lovely, the dry stuff can be a bit overwhelming unless it's used sparingly, you should definitely give it a try!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.