- 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 12 butterflied sardines (540g)
- 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon rind
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 150 gram (4½ ounces) baby green beans, trimmed
- 1 baby baby fennel (130g), trimmed
- 1 small lebanese cucumber (130g)
- 120 gram (4 ounces) radishes, sliced thinly
- 1 large avocado (350g), sliced
- 1Using a mortar and pestle, crush fennel seeds with salt and pepper. Place sardines on a tray; sprinkle seed mixture on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 20 minutes.
- 2Meanwhile place ¼ cup olive oil, preserved lemon rind and juice in a screw-top jar; shake well. Season to taste.
- 3Cook beans in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until just tender; drain. When cool enough to handle, cut beans in half lengthways.
- 4Using a mandoline or V-slicer, cut fennel into very thin slices. Using a vegetable peeler, peel cucumber into ribbons.
- 5Place beans, fennel, cucumber and radish in a large bowl with dressing; toss gently to combine.
- 6Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat; cook sardines for 1 minute each side or until just cooked through.
- 7Layer salad and avocado on plates, top with sardines; serve immediately.
Butterflied sardines are boneless with the two fillets attached. To do this yourself, cut off the head just behind the gills. With a small knife, cut along the belly, from head to tail then open out. Holding the spine at head end, pull it down firmly towards the tail end and snip with scissors to release it.
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