Serves 4 2tbsp fennel seeds 1tsp chilli flakes 1tbsp flour 8 whole sardines, scaled and gutted Olive oil ½ a bunch of fresh lemon thyme 1 lemon, sliced A small loaf of quality soft bread for about 2 minutes. Add the soaked bread to a food processor with the cucumber, peppers, garlic clove and tomatoes and blitz until smooth.
With the processor still running, add a good lug of olive oil and season to taste. If a little thick, add a few tablespoons of cold water and blitz again. Pop in the fridge to chill while you cook the sardines. In a pestle and mortar, bash the fennel seeds and most of the chilli flakes to a fine powder.
Add the flour and a small pinch of salt and pepper and mix in. Drizzle the sardines with a little oil then dip them in the spicy flour until evenly coated. Stuff a few sprigs of lemon thyme inside each fish, then line them up head to tail, with slices of lemon in between. Thread 3 long metal skewers through all the fish, making sure you spear the lemons too.
Cook under the hot grill or on the barbecue for 4-5 minutes each side, or until they’re cooked through with lovely charred skin.
Pour the gazpacho into shot glasses and top with a little of the cress and spring onions. Serve with soft bread and crispy sardines and enjoy sipping the little mouthfuls of deliciousness.
Gazpacho is a bit of a summer classic. For something different, serve it in shot glasses with crispy sardines and lovely soft bread.
For the sardines
For the gazpacho