Stuffed sardines seemed like a good healthy option to add to our menu. The nutritional benefits of eating these small pelagic fish are multifarious. They are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They contain vitamins B-12 and a healthy amount of vitamin D, alongside calcium and various minerals. They also contain lots of bones, and gutting and stuffing them is fiddly work.
The recipe I chose from Honey & Co.'s book directs readers online for the method for butterflying the sardines for this North African dish. If the authors were to describe the process in the book they suggest "you would never try it, but it is truly simple".
As is somewhat characteristic, I didn't Google it instead choosing to use my intuition. This got me so far, although may account for the the mess in my kitchen (my gutting and rinsing could be improved) and the number of bones that remained in our little fish.
When I visited our local fishmonger I was disappointed that they didn't have any fresh sardines, but in retrospect, given they are highly perishable, I probably did well with my bag of frozen fish.
Stuffed with freshly chopped coriander, parsley, garlic and anchovy fillets the sardines were certainly tasty. And fishy. I just didn't enjoy eating them. Maybe it was all the gutting and filleting? Or perhaps I would have enjoyed them more if someone else had prepared and cooked them? Either way, it wasn't the most successful of my dishes this year, but I'll not write off sardines just yet.
I served our plates of little fish with apricot and pistachio tabule (also from the Honey & Co. book).