Sardine & green salad with tahini, ginger & tamari dressing

It’s March and snowdrops and crocuses are appearing everywhere. The best time to introduce salads back on the menu.  It’s still a bit early for getting a huge variety of colours going , so we will have to stick to 50 shades of green which is not too bad either, think of all that antioxidant boosting chlorophyll, the vitamins and minerals in those green leaves .

What better to choose than some gorgeous flower sprouts and little gem lettuce ? Flower sprouts are a cross between Brussles sprouts and Kale with high amounts of B6 and vitamin C, they are a great choice for keeping energized and ready for Spring.  Other seasonal greens work equally well, the salad world is your oyster. Talking of which, I recently re-discovered sardines and wanted to share my love for them.  They are actually one of the best fish you can have when it comes to oily fish. Firstly they are sustainable and caught in the wild, they are plankton feeders, so they are low in mercury and they are inexpensive. You can get them fresh from January till September and canned all year round. I find the canned version particularly handy for work lunches and salads.

Here are some more good reasons for including  sardines in your weekly dishes: they are rich in protein, an excellent source of minerals, vitamin B12 and B3 as well as vitamin D and the omega 3. They have better ratings than salmon or mackerel, so please don’t forget about these small fish from the big ‘pond’.

Sardines are always complemented well by some sharp freshness like spring onions. Sadly they are not in season yet, so I went for small tender leek as a replacement . I also added red quinoa  for some extra protein, colour and crunch. All these lovely ingredients combined with a tahini, tamari & ginger dressing make the perfect starter, lunch or sandwich filling.



Sardine & green salad with tahini-tamari & ginger dressing– serves 2-3

300g of  flower sprouts or kale
2 heads of little gem lettuce
1/2 leek ( spring onions work very well too, if in season)
1-2 ripe avocados
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2 cans of sardines in oil or brine
1 cup of red quinoa

To garnish
2 tbsp of walnuts ( ideally soaked in filtered water for 2 hours)
2 tbsp of cashew nuts ( ideally soaked in filtered water for 4 hours)
1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds ( ideally soaked in filtered water for 2 hours)
1 bunch of fresh coriander

For the dressing
1 tbsp of tahini
2 tbsp of sesame seed oil & 1 tbsp of hemp oil
1/2-1 tbsp tamari sauce
1-2 tbsp of rice or white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp of miso paste (optional)
small piece of ginger & 1/2 a clove of garlic ( grated or crushed with garlic press)

I usually start with preparing the dressing, using a small jar with a lid, so I can give the dressing a good shake and keep any left over in the fridge. It’s very simple just add all ingredients to the jar, stir well , so the tahini mixes completely with the rest of the ingredients, then put the lid on, shake well and set aside.


Next rinse the quinoa and cook as per cooking instructions. The cooking process should take around 10-15 minutes and should give you enough time to prepare the rest of the salad.

Wash the flour sprouts, dry off slightly, tear off the tiny leaves and place in a salad bowl. Please don’t throw the hard stems away, you can use them for your next juice ( keep in a damp towel in the fridge, use within two days). Pour the lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt over the leaves and massage in well. This helps breaking down the fiber, making the greens more tender and easier to digest. This step is only necessary if you are using flour sprouts or kale as their leaves are tougher than regular salad leaves.

Next wash the gem lettuce and cut into stripes;  wash, dry off and slice the leeks and add to the bowl together with the gem lettuce and gently mix all together.


Prepare the avocado, cut through the middle, open, remove the pip and skin, then cut through the length in the middle and then slice, that way you get nice similar sized pieces, add to the bowl together with the dressing and give it a good but careful mix.

Next prepare the fish, drain the oil or brine, remove any fish bones from the center and tear  into pieces on top of the salad.


Finally fold the fish under the salad mix with two wooden spoons (I usually like using my hands but this one is a bit messy).

Serve with or without a boiled egg, a hand full of chopped soaked nuts and fresh coriander leaves. The salad is a great sandwich filling too, perfect for work lunches. Bon appetite  !!