Tasty sardines are super-healthy and here they are stuffed with a refreshing, zesty couscous. Ask your fishmonger to bone the fish for you, so they're ready to fill.
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500ml boiling water or fish stock
12 sardines, about 80g each, cleaned and heads removed
4 tomatoes, about 200g in total, finely chopped
4 tbsp bottled capers, rinsed
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
20 cherry or baby plum tomatoes on the vine
LEMON & GARLIC MAYONNAISE
3 garlic cloves
3 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
finely grated zest of ½ lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
Method Prep:35min › Cook:15min › Ready in:50min
To make the mayonnaise, grill the garlic cloves, in their skins, for 4–5 minutes until soft. Squeeze out the flesh and stir into the mayonnaise together with the lemon zest and juice. Set aside.
Place the couscous in a bowl and pour over the boiling water or stock. Leave to soak for 15–20 minutes until the grains swell and all the liquid is absorbed. Stir with a fork to fluff up the grains.
While the couscous is soaking, bone the sardines: place each one belly-down on a board and press down the backbone with your thumbs. Turn over and the bones should lift out easily. Snip the bone off at the tail end with scissors.
Stir the chopped tomatoes, capers, parsley and lemon zest into the couscous and season to taste.
Lay the sardines skin-side down on a board and spoon about 1 tbsp of the couscous across the centre of each fish. Lift the wide end up over the stuffing, and bring the tail end over it. Secure with a wooden cocktail stick. (You can prepare ahead up to this stage, then cover the stuffed fish and keep them chilled in the fridge until ready to cook, later the same day.)
Place the fish under a hot grill and cook, turning once, for 6–8 minutes until golden and cooked through. Add the vine tomatoes about halfway through the cooking time. While the fish is cooking, spread the remaining couscous on a platter. Arrange the grilled fish and tomatoes on top of the couscous and serve with the mayonnaise.