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Sardines with saffron potatoes and oregano dressing

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On a remote beach on the Roseland Peninsula, The Hidden Hut‘s feast nights are a firm foodie fave. We caught a taste of the hut’s alfresco vibes when Simon Stallard shared his recipe for summer sardines with saffron potatoes and oregano dressing

Outdoor feast in summer with sardines and tomatoes

Serves 8

You will need

Sardines 24, about 70-90g each, gutted, scaled and trimmed
Samphire 400g
Stems of cherry tomatoes on the vine 8 × 100g
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt to season

SAFFRON POTATOES

Large waxy potatoes 8, peeled and halved
Butter 250g
Chicken stock 200ml
Garlic cloves 4, crushed lightly with the side of a knife
Lemon 1, juice of Saffron threads a pinch
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

OREGANO DRESSING

Garlic cloves 2, peeled
Oregano leaves large handful
Sea salt 4 tsp
Lemons 2, juice of
Extra virgin olive oil 300ml

Method

  1. For the saffron potatoes: trim off the curves of each potato to make them flat on the top and bottom. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the potatoes and fry for about 5 minutes until deep golden brown on one side – do not move the potatoes as they cook.
  2. Turn the potatoes over and cook for a further 5 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Carefully pour in the stock, watching out for any splutter when the stock meets the hot fat, then add the garlic, lemon juice and saffron. Season, then cover the pan with a lid. When the stock is simmering, reduce the heat. Simmer the potatoes for 10–12 minutes or until tender, then remove from the pan using a slotted spoon. Keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare and heat your barbecue (if using) or preheat the grill to high. Also, preheat the oven to 200°c / gas 6.
  4. For the oregano dressing: crush the garlic with the oregano and sea salt to a paste, then stir in the lemon juice and slowly add the oil.
  5. Put the samphire and tomatoes in a baking dish, dress with a little olive oil and salt, then roast in the oven for 8 minutes. Take out and dress with the oregano dressing. Season the sardines with salt and pepper, then cook them on the barbecue grill rack or under the hot grill, close to the heat, for 1-2 minutes on each side or until nicely charred. Serve the sardines on top of the tomatoes and samphire to allow the natural oils to infuse – with the warm saffron potatoes alongside.

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