Grilled sardines with tomato tapenade sauce & beans (page 148)

Switch & Mix

The grilled sardines would be lovely with the pesto on page 129, the tomato compote on page 177 or the green curry paste on page 209 in place of the tapenade. In each case add 3 tbsp rather than 2. 

The recipe is very good with the garlic butter on page 193. In this case, leave out the 2 tbsp of extra virgin oil. Cut 60g of garlic butter into cubes and stir it into the sauce, make sure that the sauce doesn't boil and it will become quite creamy like the great white butter sauce on page 62.  

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Take the tops off the beans.
  • Drain the flageolet beans in a sieve.
  • Open the tin of beans. Jake loves doing this, but be careful of the sharp lids.

My Cooking With Kids Recipe Diary

Jake 4 years 10 months, James 2 years 2 months

We haven’t eaten a lot of fish since I finished the salmon chapter. It has slipped my mind that James really likes it.  


As I came to the table with my and Jess’s plates, James picked up his sardine filet. I started to get excited. He dropped it. He started to cry, but it had gone into his bib. We rescued the sardine. James stopped crying. Then he ate a bit.


When I put down our plates he bit his lip and started crying again.


Jess gave him a big cuddle, poor little fellow. He still isn’t well, has been coughing and not sleeping well and Dad just keeps coming with more food. Try this, taste this, please love this. Bless him, he ate the entire sardine with some polenta and flageolet beans. Didn’t touch the tomatoes, which he would eat non-stop ripe or not, straight from the plants this time last year.  


Then I tried to feed him so Jess could eat  and he got grumpy and stopped eating. If it's going well don’t change anything at all.


Jake really enjoyed the whole meal. He, Jess and I had a long bean eating race making them disappear in tiny nibbles to try and convince James it would be fun. No luck. Yet!! 

I didn’t try this, but if you think it might help, add a few low salt and sugar baked beans instead of, or as well as, the flageolets. It could be a good way to relate one bean to another in the kids' minds.  


If you make sure the green beans are cooked until soft, then everything can be chopped or pureed depending on amounts of teeth for the tiny and toothless. Both the chopped mixture and the puree can be frozen.