R O L L  M O P  C O R N I S H  S A R D I N E S

Preparation time: 30 minutes to fillet the fish

Cooking time: 30 minutes to make the mixture,

cool and assemble

Serves: 4 as a starter

Season: Cornish sardines are in season from late

May until early September

125 ml cider vinegar

150 g caster sugar

10 sardines

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp white peppercorns

50 g sea salt

40 g dill

1 red onion

2 red jalapeno chillies

3 dill pickles

Special equipment:  

Toothpicks

Have the fishmonger gut the fish for you.  Begin by filleting the sardines.  

Next, bring 150 ml water, plus the vinegar and the sugar to the boil.  Cook just until the sugar has dissolved.  Allow to cool.  Season the sardine fillets with sea salt.  Crush the black and white peppercorns in a mortar and sprinkle over the fillets.  Wash the dill, remove the fronds from the sprigs and chop them finely.  Peel and finely dice the red onion.  Halve the chillies, remove their seeds and finely mince.  Combine the dill, onion and chilli together in a small bowl and sprinkle the spice mixture over the fillets.  Cut the dill pickles into 20 pieces, and, starting with the head, roll each fillet around a piece of pickle.  Secure with a toothpick and place the rolls into a bowl, tray or glass jar in which they fit snugly.  Repeat with the remaining fish fillets.  Sprinkle over any remaining dill, onion and chilli then pour over the cooled vinegar mixture.

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.  Serve with crisp leaves and warm bread.