Belle-Iloise

Sardines in olive paste à la Christian Lohse - "not a soup, but also awesome"

Sardinen in Olivenpaste à la Christian Lohse – "keine Suppe, aber auch geil" | Maître Philippe & Filles

Our friend and regular customer Christian Lohse - one of the most interesting chefs in Germany, currently chef de cuisine at Fischers Fritz - has published a wonderful cookbook with Umschau Verlag, which bears the absolutely appropriate title "Lohses Mundwerk" . It contains recipes for soups and stews that the master chef came up with himself or that he knows from friends. In the middle of this illustrious collection he smuggled a recipe for sardines in olive paste - "not a soup but also awesome". Which brings us back to the mouth of the mouth.

Basically, it doesn't matter to us whether one or the other reader of the cookbook feels on page 185 as if he had won the "spot the mistake" game. Rather, we are very pleased that Monsieur Lohse seems to love the "sardines à la tapenade" from La Belle-Iloise as much as we do.
And while the fine gentleman is currently romping about in Antarctica and probably trying to make friends with some penguins, we practice the art of imitation and bring you this little culinary outlier as our current recipe of the week.

Ingredients for 2 - 4 people:

  • 1 young bulb of fennel
  • 1 bunch of slippers (spring onions)
  • 2 small tomatoes on the vine or confit tomatoes (we have them in the refrigerated display case)
  • 2 basil leaves (or more if you like)
  • 1 can of sardines in tapenade
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • oil for frying

Sardines in olive paste - the ingredients
Preparation:
Clean the fennel bulb and blanch in lightly salted water until al dente, then cut the green tips into approx. 2 cm pieces. Use the whites for other uses (I made a quick and easy salad of finely chopped fennel, fresh cherry tomatoes and basil tonight in a tangy olive oil, lemon, fleur de sel and pepper dressing). Blanch the scallops briefly, cut in half lengthways and fry in a pan until they turn dark on the edges. Fry the tomatoes too. If you use our confit tomatoes: just put them in the pan as they are and fry until they are nice and crispy. If you use fresh tomatoes: cut them in half, season with salt and pepper and sauté in a little oil until they fall apart. Roughly chop the basil leaves and add to the tomatoes.

Arrange the sardines on one (or more) plates, spread all the prepared ingredients on top, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and season with Piment d'Espelette.

Bon Appetit!

Sardines in olive paste

Sardines in Olive Paste - Close-Up

The conclusion: this "recipe", which is actually more of a kind of serving suggestion for advanced users, is a single taste explosion! Mediterranean and sun-kissed, "gourmand" through and through, as one would say in France. Every bite makes you want more, the aromatic sardine is wonderfully caught by a colorful canon of tart-fruity olive paste, sweet tomatoes with spicy basil, dark-sweet balsamic vinegar, the nice and spicy Piment d'Espelette and the fresh, crunchy vegetables. You don't really need bread for this. A glass of wine should not be missing (see below)!

Our wine recommendation: The Tears of Anima 2016 from Herdade do Portocarro goes perfectly with this unspeakably aromatic dish. It has just the right level of power and character to bring out all of the sardine's flavors and bring them out even more, without overpowering them.


Sardines in olive paste - recipe on p. 185 in "Lohses Mundwerk"

Lohses Mundwerk - Centerfold with Maître Philippe

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"Lohses Mundwerk" by Christian Lohse was published in 2015 by Umschau Verlag .

The beautiful wooden board is unique and was made by hand from American walnut. It was made by Arnd Seibert from Ovaso .

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