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.
Recipe for Couscous Sardine Salad
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 tbsp 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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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.
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Disclosure: I received a hamper as a gift from Tariette. All opinions and the recipe are my own.