Sardines work with all number of things – beetroot, horseradish, little roasted tomatoes... and chickpeas are very good, too. Their creamy texture and nutty flavour balance this oily little fish that tastes so completely of the sea.
8 very fresh sardines, scaled and gutted
Enough olive oil to brush the sardines
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g/7oz cooked, warm chickpeas
The juice of half a lemon
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
50ml/2fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
Wedges of lemon to serve
Preheat your grill. Rub the sardines well with the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Lay the sardines on your grill and cook for two minutes on one side before turning and cooking for a further couple of minutes on the underside.
While the sardines are cooking, dress the warm chickpeas with the lemon juice and olive oil, add the crushed garlic and chopped parsley, and stir well to combine.
Once the sardines are cooked, divide between four warm plates and spoon over the chickpeas. Serve with a wedge of lemon.