This was a bit of a “what do I have in the cupboard?” lunch.

It’s a bank holiday weekend in France so I did a little shopping yesterday to be prepared. I bought some avocados and found a tin of sardines in the cupboard which went well together on a nice fresh baguette.

Achards de légumes is a curried vegetable pickle made with various crunchy vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots and green beans. It is, apparently, a Mauritian take on an Indian-style pickle, though the jar I was given (by someone from the Île de Réunion) is to a Madagascan recipe. Wherever it’s from originally, it’s delicate but tangy and adds a nice créole touch to anything it goes near.

If I hadn’t remembered that it was in the fridge, I’d have used some chilli sauce or flakes for a little bite.

  • One tin whole sardines
  • One ripe avocado
  • One small onion
  • Achards de légumes
  • Mayonnaise
  • Coriander
  • Lemon

Prepare the ingredients. If, like me, you don’t particularly care for the little bones in tinned sardines, butterfly them first, trying to keep the fillets whole. Peel and slice the avocado and finely chop the onion and coriander.

Cut the baguette lengthwise and gently toast it so that it is warm and slightly golden, but not so that it toasts. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the toast as if it were butter, then some of the achards.

Layer (or spread, if you like to mush) the avocado on top with the onion, place the sardine fillets on top and garnish plentifully with coriander. Squeeze some lemon juice over the top and season to taste.

I literally pigged my way through two helpings of this and now have no bread left.

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