I usually have a couple of tins of Sardines in the larder just for emergencies, or when I am not sure what I fancy to eat. Coupled with a Bertinet Caramelised Onion, Cumin and Cheese Bread, you have the makings of one hell of a delicious snack, brunch or light tea at any time of the day, month or year!
I adore Bread, but cannot eat the usual stuff in the Supermarkets, half the ingredients are un-recognisable (and un-necessary), and the speed of production, thanks to the Chorleywood Bread process makes for something my stomach cannot stand. The same goes for the Burger Buns used in well known chains, can’t stand them either, within 30 minutes of consumption I feel ill, bilious and erghh so it was a real treat when a well known Artisan Bread Genius, Richard Bertinet, struck a deal with Waitrose and I can now get PROPER Bread again.
This recipe/construction job is dead easy to do, but relies on the best ingredients. A Marmande Tomato (available from Waitrose), Aleppo Chilli flakes (available from Ottolenghi online), Ras al-Hanut (available from Steenbergs), GOOD tinned Sardines such as Parmentier (Waitrose again), Garlic, Olive Oil, Tomato Puree and Sea Salt.
The Sardines need to be gently drained, halved lengthways and their central bone and any Roe removed. If you can’t get a Bertinet loaf, any good quality Artisan Bread will do (for me, decent Bread only has Flour, Yeast, Salt and Water, plus any flavours such as Onions, Cheese, Cumin etc). Before you start, set the oven to 200 degrees and put the kettle on (for a cup of tea!).
Take 2 – 3 slices of Bread (depending on size!) and liberally coat both side with Olive Oil, place on a baking tray and put in the oven until lightly crisp and brown on both sides. This will depend on the Bread so just check it after 5 Minutes and then every 1-2 minutes until done (drink some tea in-between!).
Once the Bread is nicely toasted, take a clove of Garlic cut in half and rub on the Bread, it will impart a subtle flavour. Then lightly spread some tomato paste on top, you can see this above. Its job is to give the Tomato an even more rich and punchy flavour.
Thinly slice the Marmande Tomato and place on top of the Bread, then sprinkle with Aleppo Chilli Flakes, Ras al-Hanut and Sea Salt, then some more Olive Oil. Place the Sardine fillets on top and put back into the oven for about 10 minutes. Again, you will need to check as the cooking speed will depend on the size of your Sardine’s and oven.
To finish you can add something acidic, I took some more of the Marmande Tomato, some Red Onion, White Wine Vinegar and Olive Oil, as you can see on the finished dish above.
Until next time…………..L8ers..