Presented in Vick’s own style and words a light and healthy lunch, brunch or snack. A Sardine Hash!

As a musician I sometimes see meals or recipes as songs. The moniker for much Country, folk, blues and the music of the ‘Beatles’ could easily be ‘three chords and the truth’. The most simple music has often captured the hearts and imagination of millions and I think it’s the same with food.

A simple meal done well is every bit as satisfying and pleasing as anything involving 10 or more pans and a week of preparation, prayers and luck.  One of my favourite quick off the cuff meals is a twist on sardines on toast which I call a ‘sardine hash’.

 

The ingredients

Onions & Garlic: Bouncy, bold onions and large bulbous cloves or you’ll get side tracked by unnecessary fiddlery.

Sardines: Tinned in sunflower oil and fairly current. I wouldn’t use them if they have been left over from the war!

Capers: Substantial, miniature accordion-like nuggets of vinegary greenness.

Tomato puree: A simple shop bought mass produced paste will do so you don’t need to get on the phone to auntie short and round in Tuscany!

Harissa paste: Or I refer to this as ‘cheat sauce’ as it adds a little depth and happiness to any dish.

Herbs: Dried mixed herbs will do unless you happen to be visiting a wild herb emporium in the country.

Red pepper: Scarlet Ferrari red if possible with oil of ‘Olay’ skin.

 

The Method

Firstly, go to the oven and turn the dial to 190 degrees on your fan assisted oven. If you don’t have one of these then don’t waste both our time and go out and buy one.

No, just use a conventional oven at 200 degrees. Next turn your attention to the pepper. Half and de-seed it before placing it on a baking tray. Drizzle with cold pressed rape seed oil and season.

Finely (but not too finely) chop the garlic and dice the onions and place in a pan with the oil from the sardines.

Chop the capers very finely and leave them on the board primed for action. Season and fry the onions and garlic till they soften. Add the puree and Harissa and stir well.

Add the capers and herbs before adding the sardines with any remaining oil from the tin. Break up the sardines and cook till they are warmed through. Check the peppers and cook till they are either charred or softened and slightly withered.

I like to top sourdough toast with the hash. I prefer a slim lined sourdough rather than an overly sour wedge.  You can either griddle or toast depending on your mood!

For me, roasted peppers yield the greatest taste for the least amount of work. I cut these up into thin strips and layer them on top for some added sweetness and colour.

Now you can of course make these at home, or why not have me make them for you at ‘three’!

Three, Clifton Road, Rugby. https://www.threerugby.com 01788 544 782 

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