Sicilian stuffed sardines

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If you have not had sardines before then these Sicilian style stuffed sardines are the perfect introduction. They are straightforward to make and quick to cook so they can be made for a quick lunch or light dinner. Dishes such as this are usually served at times of feasting such as Easter but they are perfect for spring and summer at any time.

Ingredients- Serves 2-3
500g butterflied sardines with bones removed
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
Juice of half a small orange
Handful of raisins
Handful of pinenuts
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Olive oil to drizzle
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Choose an ovenproof ceramic baking dish that it large enough to for the sardines to fit and to be nice and snug once rolled. Start by preparing the breadcrumbs filling. Soak the raisins in warm water for 5 minutes until they have swollen and start to soften, roughly chop and place in a bowl. Toast the breadcrumbs in a small dry pan until golden, remove from the heat and add to the raisins. Add the pine nuts, squeeze of the orange juice and roughly chopped parsley. Season to taste.

2. Take one sardine at a time, fill with a small amount of the stuffing mixture and roll lengthways. Once rolled, place in a lightly oiled baking dish and then repeat until all the sardines have been used. If you have any leftover stuffing once you have rolled all the fish then sprinkle over the top and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for 20- 25 minutes until golden and the fish is cooked through. Serve with a simple salad or bread if you like.

Sicilian stuffed sardines- a taste of the Med even if we are all at home during lockdown!

Herby sweet potato, chickpea and feta salad

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It’s all too easy to fall back on unhealthy food during these strange lockdown times, to neglect our balanced diets and reach for junk food instead. This herby sweet potato, chickpea and feta salad is quick and can be made using some ingredients which you masy have in the cupboard and fridge. Use the recipe as a guide and feel free to add anything else that may take your fancy or use up anything that would otherwise go to waste. The salad keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days if covered. It is a meal in itself but could be used to serve with simple grilled meats if you like.

 

Ingredients- serves 4- 6
2 sweet potatoes or 1 small squash- peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tin of lentils in water- drained
1 tin of chickpeas- drained and rinsed
100g feta
Half a cucumber- deseeded and sliced
Pinch of dried oregano
Aleppo chilli- to taste (optional)
1 tbsp each of fresh chopped parsley, dill and mint

Dressing:
60ml Greek yogurt
1 tbsp tahini
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper

1. Start by preheating the oven to 200c/ 180 fan/ gas mark 6. Place the cubed potato or squash on a baking tray, season well and add the oregano and chilli (if using). Cook for 10 minutes until starting to soften and then add the chickpeas. Continue to cook until the potato or squash is tender to a fork then toss the lentils through as well. Put to one side.
2. Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients. Remember to check the seasoning and lemon juice as you go.
3. When the potato, chickpea mixture has cooled add the rest of the ingredients and toss. If serving immediately finish with the yogurt dressing otherwise portion up and chill in the fridge along with the dressing in a separate container until you need it. Add some extra chopped herbs to serve.

Herby sweet potato, chickpea and feta salad- light, refreshing and simple!