This tasty couscous sardine salad is both healthy and filling. It combines freshly grilled sardines, grilled tomatoes, lightly pickled red onions and couscous along with some espelette pepper chutney to add just a little heat.
Now spring is coming I'm starting to feel like I want to eat lighter foods and salads again, despite the weather this last weekend! This sardine salad is a great one to start with. I managed to get some fresh sardines which are just so much tastier than tinned ones. As the sardines are an oily fish, the lightly pickled red onions are a perfect match, the grilled tomatoes are sweet and juicy and of course the espelette pepper chutney on the side finishes off the dish perfectly.
Have you heard of espelette peppers? They're a mild chilli pepper grown in France in the commune of Espelette. They're not very well known in the UK at the moment but promise me, they should be. The Espelette pepper chutney is not too spicy, it's a delicious mix of sweet and smoky but with a gentle heat. I could eat it out of the jar with a spoon, it's that good! It's a chutney with real flavour and not just designed to blow your head off.
In fact, this Espelette Pepper chutney was the perfect match to the sardines. I dolloped a few spoonfuls over the salad and oh yes, it was tasty! If you can't get hold of sardines then mackerel would be a great alternative. If you can't get hold of the espelette pepper chutney then a garlic, tomato or red pepper chutney would work as an alternative.
Luxury French Hampers from Tariette
I was lucky enough to get the Espelette pepper chutney in a hamper from Tariette. Tariette are a family company who import quality French produce from the Haute Provence region of France and sell it in the UK both individually and as part of luxury gift hampers.
All the products are sourced individually from small producers who would struggle to compete against the large food chains. The products are chosen for their quality as well as ethical and sustainable approach.
I have to say, I was really impressed with my hamper. You've already heard how much I loved the espelette pepper chutney but the other items are worth mentioning too.
What was in my hamper?
My hamper also contained:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mint Flavoured - This is brilliant on salads. Sometimes I don't have fresh herbs but the flavour in this was enough to make me think there was fresh mint in my salad. These is a basil one too and I'll definitely be buying herb flavoured oils from now on!
Liquid Lavender Honey- This honey has a beautiful smell and a delicate lavender flavour. It's wonderful for breakfast. Master Spice loves it drizzled on the top of waffles!
Raw and Unblanched Almonds - These almonds are raw and unblanched and taste so much fresher than supermarket ones. I am loving snacking on them right now.
Chocolate Dusted Hazelnuts - These did not last long at all! Roasted hazelnuts scented with Bourbon vanilla, coated in milk chocolate then dusted with natural sweetener. I didn't want to share these with anyone!
Dark Nougat - This crunchy almond packed dark nougat is sweet and with a beautiful caramelized honey flavour but no bitterness.
White Nougat - Soft, sweet, chewy and nutty. This was my husband's favourite nougat and he claimed it was the best he'd ever had. I have to say it was definitely better than any white nougat I'd had in the past either.
4 Mini Lavender Pillows - These smell gorgeous and are lovely to put in a wardrobe or wherever else you want to make smell amazing! I've put mine in our sheet and towel cupboard.
So, if you fancy trying one of these beautiful French food hampers then do have a look at the Tariette website. Hampers start at £75 and the items are handpicked to suit the customer.
More delicious Salad recipes
Salads always make a delicious healthy meal choice and if you like my couscous sardine salad then you might like one of these salads too! Don't forget to also check out my collection of main meal salads.
Couscous Sardine Salad
- 300 g couscous
- 450 ml vegetable stock hot
- 8 sardines butterflied
- 6 tomatoes halved
- Pinch salt
- pinch black pepper
- 1 red onion sliced into thin rounds
- 200 ml white wine vinegar
- 15 cm cucumber diced
- 2-4 tablespoon espelette pepper chutney I used Tariette
- Spread the onion rings out on a plate. Add a little salt and pour over the vinegar. Leave until ready to serve.
- Pour the vegetable stock over the couscous. Cover and leave for 5 minutes. Then uncover and fluff up with a fork.
- Lightly oil a grill pan. Put the sardines and tomatoes on the pan. Season with a little salt and pepper. Grill for about 2 minutes. Turn the sardines over and grill for another minute. If necessary cook the tomatoes for a little big longer.
- Stir the cucumber into the couscous.
- Season the couscous if necessary.
- To serve, divide the couscous between the plates. Top with the tomatoes, onion rings and sardines. Drizzle the vinegar from the onions over the plates too. Serve each plate with a dollop of espelette pepper chutney.
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Disclosure: I received a hamper as a gift from Tariette. All opinions and the recipe are my own.
never thought of trying sardines with salad before reading this! i love it!
Sardines are lovely in a salad! I hope I've convinced you to try it!
You most definitely did! cheers!
This is why I love sardines. Not just actually sardines but all kinds of fish recipes. There is the lightest dish we can cook. And adding up a salad or anything you wish will still make you feel light but full stomach already. Anyways, thank you for sharing this recipe! Will definitely try this.
I'm so pleased you like it! I love sardines and since developing this recipe I've been eating them a lot. Luckily my son loves them and wants them all the time too!
Like the way how this salad looks, I love fish.
Thanks Tadej! I love fish too but don't eat it often enough.
I love this recipe! I think it will be perfect for the spring and summer seasons) Great idea to add sardines to the salad!)
Thanks Veronika! I am really looking forward to summer food at the moment.
Kathryn @ FoodieGirlChicago
I've never seen fresh sardines before. This salad makes them look like something that's worth checking out!
I've only recently seen them in the supermarket. I hope it wasn't just a one-off as I do want to start buying them regularly from now on!
Abby @ WinsteadWandering
I've never heard of espelette peppers, but as a huge pepper fan, I'd love to try them! The chutney sounds amazing.
Thanks Abby! The peppers are only grown in a particular region of France so they aren't very well known but the chutney is amazing! Definitely worth trying.
This is such a unique recipe! Thank you for sharing it! That basket looks gorgeous!! I've never heard of Tariette but now I'm totally interested in what they have to offer! Beautiful website! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Amanda! I'm so pleased you like it and yes, the basket was gorgeous and so beautifully presented.
Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder
Such fresh sounding salad and it does make you think of spring, summer, picnics and good times! 🙂 I love fresh sardines, any oily fish really and this lovely chutney sounds like perfect accompaniment! x
Thanks Jo! The chutney is gorgeous. I don't like so much chilli that you can't taste the other flavours in a sauce and the heat in this one is really gentle but so tasty. x
Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen
I love sardines, such a great fish but I've never thought of having them as part of a salad! This dish looks like spring on a plate, thanks for sharing!
Thanks Carrie! I am definitely ready to start eating more salads again now.
Analida @ ethnicspoon.com
I am going to ask my local fish monger if he can procure fresh sardines for me. Sadly in the USA I do not believe they are widely available. I love the chutney and couscous dish! Thanks for sharing!
It's a shame they are not widely available there. If you can get mackerel that would be a good substitute.
I've never seen fresh sardines here. I only ever use canned. Love the sound of this couscous salad. That hamper looks like a treat. Chutney is always such a treat.
I have only just started seeing them in the supermarket. Before now I'd only seen the fresh ones when I was on holiday in Spain!
Dominique | Perchance to Cook
I really can't wait to try this! I've never actually cooked with sardines before but I have been wanting to. This recipe looks like the perfect place to start.
Thanks! I hope you like it. Sardines are actually really easy to cook but they do cook very quickly as they are so thin.
That pepper chutney sounds bonkers good! What a great idea to add it to this couscous salad. It looks delicious!
Thanks! It's a great chutney.
Oh yes Im yearning for warmer weather so that I can start eating more salad and light dishes again. This salad look just perfect. Thank you for linking to#CookBlogShare
Thanks Jacqui and thanks for hosting! Bring on summer!
I love salads with eggs and chicken but have never tried it fish. I guess I need to try this one.
I don't often put fresh fish like this in a salad but it was delicious! I will do it more often now.
That hamper looks packed with such great treats and this salad looks packed too. Sardines are so good and I like that you grilled them and the tomatoes. This is one great salad!
Thanks Sharon! I'm so pleased you like it and the hamper.
Caroline@ Cook Ware Lab
Hey Corina, this Sardina salad sounds yummy! I never made of before!34% protein mean perfects for me! How easy to make this salad? I want to try at home!
When I was a kid, my mom loved sardines. Somehow that has not been passed along to me. She would eat canned ones, and sometimes she would get some fresh ones. I would have no problem subbing in some other fish here.....but maybe I should relive my childhood and give sardines another try.
You might actually like the fresh ones now! I don't like the bones in the tinned ones and I think that sometimes puts me off sardines but the fresh ones are so good!
Julie @ Running in a Skirt
This looks so good! I never think of using sardines, but they are actually really good for you!
Yes, they're full of healthy oils and so it's definitely a reason to get them. One of my children loves them so I'll definitely be buying them regularly from now on too!
I've never had fresh sardines before and this sounds like such a delicious way to feature them! The grilled tomatoes sound like a perfect complement!
Thanks Cristina! I think most people tend to think of sardines as tinned fish but the fresh ones are so good.
I love this recipe, I am in France PACA region but never tried this peppers which are now on my list.This hamper sounds like home, definitely worth getting it
I'm so pleased you like it Laura! I've only had the espelette peppers in the chutney so far but I would love to try the peppers themselves one day.
I know, now that spring is so close I'm totally craving light and fresh salads! 🙂
Me too! I've been eating loads of soups and stews recently so it will be nice to eat more lighter meals soon.
I love fresh sardines. They're very popular here in Italy, especially in Sicily where my hubby comes from. They also eat couscous there, so I'm sure he'd love this recipe. As would I! The hamper looks wonderful!
Thanks Jacqueline! Yes, I think sardines are very popular in Mediterranean countries. I've had some lovely freshly barbecued ones in the past when I've been on holiday in Spain. The hamper is brilliant and the quality of everything in it is just so good!
I usually eat tinned sardines, i don't mind removing the little bones as there usually aren't that many. Will have to try this couscous recipe with sardines next time.
I hope you like it! I think I just find those little bones off putting in the tinned ones.
Helen @ family-friends-food.com
I love fresh sardines and this salad looks delicious. Bookmarking for when the weather is reliably warmer!
Yes, I wasn't expecting the weather to be quite so bad in the middle of March either! Luckily the snow seems to be beginning to melt now.
I’ve seen fresh sardines in Sainsbury’s but never bought any. After seeing your recipe I’ll definitely pick up a packet next time I’m in! It looks delicious and I’m loving the sound of that chutney!
It's delicious! I had never cooked with fresh sardines before either but they really are good and they are also so much more economical than a lot of the other fish in the supermarket.
I don't think I've ever had fresh sardines, I should look out for them as I always find the tinned ones a bit underwhelming! This looks like a great dish and the peppers sound fab.
I hate the bones in the tinned ones but these ones had been butterflied and the backbone was removed. I found them in Sainsburys and will definitely get them again. My youngest child loves them too which is always good! I'm so pleased you like the recipe.