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Grilled sardines with nasturtiums and rosemary tarator

"Rosemary will aid poor concentration and memory, headaches and anxiety," says McEnearney. "Walnuts are high in fibre, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. I soak all nuts in water before I use them to make them more digestible."

You'll need

12 whole sardines 65 gm preserved lemon rind, rinsed and diced 60 gm raisins, coarsely chopped ½ cup each (firmly packed) mint, flat-leaf parsley and dill, finely chopped For brushing: olive oil To serve: nasturtium leaves (see note)   Rosemary tarator 50 gm sourdough bread, crusts removed, coarsely torn 20 gm walnuts 50 ml milk 1 hard-boiled egg, coarsely crumbled ½ cup each (firmly packed) rosemary, mint and flat-leaf parsley 1/3 cup coarsely chopped chives ¼ cup (firmly packed) tarragon 2 tsp baby salted capers, rinsed and drained well 4 anchovy fillets 200 ml olive oil 2 tsp lemon juice   Lemon dressing 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil Juice of 1½ lemons


  • 01
  • For rosemary tarator, soak bread and walnuts in to soften (4-5 minutes). Squeeze excess milk from bread and transfer to a blender with walnuts. Add egg, herbs, capers and anchovies, blend to combine, then add oil in a thin stream to form a rustic sauce. Add lemon juice, season to taste and set aside. Tarator will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • 02
  • For lemon dressing, whisk ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  • 03
  • Snip the sardine backbones at both ends of the cavity and remove ribs with your fingers (they lift out very easily). Combine preserved rind, raisins and herbs in a bowl, season to taste, then stuff into sardine cavities. Season to taste with a little salt and refrigerate until required.
  • 04
  • Heat a barbecue to high heat (McEnearney grills over charcoal), brush sardines with olive oil and grill to just char and cook through (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer to a platter lined with nasturtium leaves, spoon lemon dressing over and serve with rosemary tarator.

Note Nasturtium leaves are available from select greengrocers.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Featured in

Nov 2014

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