When I sat down to write this post, I had to select a category for the recipe. As you'll see in the sidebar, we have a lot of recipe categories. But we don't actually have one specifically for starters. Appetizers, yes - but those are not really the same thing to me. I guess it has to do with the fact that, despite our name, we are not so much chefs at TMC, as cooks. You may wonder why we chose the name Too many chefs when Too many cooks would have been a) more accurate and b) a more common phrase. Well a Canadian band had beat us to the domain name, that's why. And so we are chefs. Who cook for families and friends, unprofessionally. And apparently we don't often do starters. But if you are looking for a bright Mediterranean starter in the middle of the winter, this is a good one to try. You'll need to find some decent tomatoes, which is difficult in February. But I find that if you get small ones (cherry or plum sized) and allow them to ripen in the February sun on your countertop for a few days, they start to have that taste of summer.
Winter Sun Sardines (serves for as a starter)
12 sardine filets
3 small tomatoes, chopped
1/3 a red onion, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
1 small courgette/zucchini, cubed
1 cup medium grain couscous
2-3 Tbs olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Drizzle half the olive oil over the bottom of a small roasting tin. Rinse the filets and lay them neatly and snugly in the roasting tin. Top with the tomato, zucchini, onion and garlic. Bake in a hot oven (200F) for about 25 minutes, or until the fish and vegetables smell delicious and the garlic starts to waft about the room. In the meantime, bring two cups of water to a boil. Pour over the couscous and allow to absorb for ten minutes or so. When the sardines are done, fluff the couscous with a fork. Divid the couscous in four dishes, top each with one quarter of the sardine and vegetable mix. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh or frozen chopped basil.