I like fish. No, that’s wrong. I love fish. So, given my ardent affection for water-dwelling creatures I thought I’d make the most of the fresh sardines at my local market. My Grilled Sardines with Fig-glazed Jamon and Fresh Pea Remoulade recipe is simple, delicious, fresh and embarrassingly easy to prepare. Grilled at a very high heat in a sweet and figgy glaze and wrapped in salty Spanish jamon, the dish is given balance with the subtle heat of horseradish and Dijon and fresh spring leaves. Fish made fast, fresh, simple – perfect for a warm spring evening.
4 fresh sardines, gutted, cleaned, scaled, and patted dry
2 slices of Jamon, sliced lengthways in half
4 tbsp fig jam
1 cup fresh peas
1 tbsp horseradish
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red grapes, halved
¼ cup raw buckwheat kernels, lightly toasted
Extra virgin olive oil
Fig vino cotto – balsamic vinegar can be substituted
Mixed salad leaves
Preheat oven to 250C
For the slow roasted grapes, pop the halved grapes on a baking tray in a low oven for approx. 30-35 minutes.
To prepare the sardines, roll each individual sardine with a strip of jamon. Once all sardines have been rolled with the jamon, spread a tablespoon of fig jam over each one. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and pop on a lined baking tray. Set aside.
For the pea puree, pulse the peas with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor until the mixture is blended – I like my puree to be a little chunky, but feel free to blend to a smooth paste if you like. Stir in the horseradish, mustard and apple cider vinegar. Season to taste. Set aside.
Pop the prepared sardines into the preheated oven – under the grill in the top half of the oven – grill for approx. 5 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and the jamon and skin is crisp and golden.
To assemble, divide the salad leaves between two plates, top with some of the pea puree, grapes and toasted buckwheat. Place two sardines on each plate and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some fig vino cotto.
Serves 2 as a starter or light meal