So the weather turned hot and within four seconds of it hitting 20 my lover said I should make a salad. Neither of us are particular fans of lettuce, so I delved into the books and found Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s take on a Tuna Nicoise.
To lob a refreshing salad at four diners you will need: 500g new or salad potatoes (I used Charlottes), 200g French Beans, 120g tin sardine fillets in olive oil, lemon juice (from a lemon), extra virgin olive oil, stoned black peppers, and a hard boiled egg.
If you want you can use locally caught Cornish pilchards (or tinned ones) instead of sardines, and little gem hearts instead of french beans… and the olives and eggs are optional too.
Cut the potatoes into chunks and boil in salted water for 6-10 minutes. Cut the beans in half and put them in with the potatoes for the last 3-5 minutes so that there’s still a bit of bite in them. Drain the beans and potatoes and leave them to cool to room temperature. If you’re adding eggs boil them at the same time as the potatoes.
Tip the sardines in their oil into a bowl, add a pinch of salt, crack some pepper, and squeeze some lemon juice in and mash it all up into a rough puree.
Tip the potatoes and beans into the bowl and toss it round so everything’s coated in the fishy oil, and then throw in the hard boiled eggs and olives. Serve with some salad or maybe some bread (like we did, because I forgot to buy salad)
This was delicious. The sardines were much tarter than the usual tuna making the it much more refreshing than a usual tuna nicoise, it was brilliant as a meal in its own right, and I imagine it would be great to have at a barbeque too.
Hugh’s Three Good Things on a Plate by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury 2012, ISBN 9781408828588)