The fish were under attack by wasps today.
The fishmonger said, with positive enthusiasm, that at least wasps are clean and keep the flies away. I was studying the wasps as they buzzed about on the salmon. I somehow imagined that they were just frolicking, enjoying whetting their mandibles on the savoury moisture of the fish. Not a bit of it. They were furiously excavating with lethal intent – each wasp in turn mining a chunky nugget of pink salmon, securing the severed flesh in their clamped jaws and flying off with their loot! The fishmonger had to remove the tuna from the stall – he said it was too valuable to donate as wasp food.
I was not particularly put-off by the wasps around the salmon – but I noticed that there were very fresh sardines hiding under a mound of ice. They were such good value that I asked for eight – thinking if we could not finish them the cat would. It became too late to use the barbecue. But I would recommend that if you want grilled sardines, do them on the barbecue – and preferably over coals. It really does make a difference. I’ve based the cremolata on a Moro recipe – as an alternative you could try marinating them for half an hour in lemon, garlic, salt, pepper and oil, with dried oregano and fresh thyme.
I served the sardines with patatas bravas, I did not deep fry the potatoes but boiled and sautéed them – it seems healthier. I also served green beans with shallots and garlic, and a salad using leftover beetroots with extra walnuts and speck. But of course you could just serve them with salad and crusty bread.