One 4.2-ounce (120 g) can of sardines in olive oil, drained
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
12 cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered
6 scallions, white parts only
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
½ zucchini, cut into strips (I used yellow zucchini)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Generous 3 ⁄ 4 cup (200 ml) white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon ground saffron
6 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
2 bay leaves
2 basil sprigs, leaves only
How to prepare
Vegetables “À la grecque” with sardines. “À la grecque” is a great vegetable dish from classic French bistro cuisine. In this summer version, we enhance it with our own Sea Tales sardines from Cornwall.
1 Carefully cut the stems off the artichokes. Cut away the leaves at the top with a sharp knife until you reach the heart. Pare away the leaves at the bottom. Slice off the top of the artichoke until you get to the choke. Scoop out the fibrous interior until only the heart remains. Cut it into quarters. Repeat with the remaining artichoke.
2 Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the coriander seeds, followed by the mushrooms, scallions, celery, zucchini, and garlic. Stir-fry for 1 minute before adding the tomato paste. Stir-fry for 1 minute more, then deglaze with the wine.
3 Add the lemon juice and saffron. Stir until everything is well combined before adding the artichoke hearts. Add a generous 3⁄ 4 cup (200 ml) of water, or enough to just cover the vegetables. Make a bouquet garni by tying the parsley, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves together with a piece of kitchen twine and add it to the pan. Simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the bouquet garni. Add the sardines to the pan and let them warm briefly.
4 Serve the dish from the pan, garnished with the basil leaves, or divide the vegetables, fish, and juice between two plates and garnish.