Breaded sardines with apple and kohlrabi salad
Prep 15 min Cook 15 min Serves 4
In September, I ate my first ribston pippin – the most delicious apple variety I have tasted in a long time. It is said to have more vitamin C than any other. The sweet, sherbet flavour was so outstanding that I bought a whole box. By going to farm shops and farmers’ markets and buying different varieties of apples, not only do we save money and eat better but we encourage biodiversity and support local farmers – it is just a win-win. Method Pour the beaten egg, breadcrumbs or panko and flour on to three plates. Dip the sardines first into the flour, shake off any excess, then submerge in the eggs. Finally, coat in the breadcrumbs, then put the fish on a clean plate and pop in the fridge.
Put all the tapenade ingredients, except for the lemon juice, oil and a little of the dill, on a large chopping board. Chop until fine, then put in a bowl, add the lemon juice and oil, and season to taste. Put to one side.
Using a mandoline or sharp knife, finely slice the kohlrabi, apple, red onion and radishes, and put in a salad bowl along with the watercress. Pop in the fridge while you cook the sardines.
Pour 5cm of vegetable oil in a wok or pan over a medium heat. Bring it up to 160C/325F.
Add three or four sardines at a time to the hot oil and fry for one or two minutes, until golden, turning over after a minute or so. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain and fry the remaining sardines, making sure you give the oil time to heat up between batches. Keep the cooked ones warm in a low oven.
Dress the salad with the lemon juice, oil and a little seasoning, add the hazelnuts and toss well. Serve alongside the sardines with the tapenade spooned over and a sprinkle of the remaining dill.