I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

July 23, 2014

Sardines with Blood Orange and Bay Leaves


I know I do a lot of whinging about Winter, but I guess there are a few benefits after all....

I can stay in my fluffy slippers and PJ's all weekend because they're the warmest things I own; rich, thick soups are on the menu regularly; mulled wine is a great alternative to tea or coffee; and citrus are certainly at their best- especially the gorgeous globes of goodness that are Blood Oranges!

The very lovely people at Redbelly Citrus kindly sent me a box of their new season Blood Oranges to play with and I while I always knew how good oranges were for me, I was very interested to find out the extra benefits they provide.
The Redbelly website states that "Blood Oranges produce Anthocyanins which is extremely rare for Citrus fruits. Anthocyanin, most commonly found in berries such as the blueberry, flowering plants and red wine (derived from red grapes) is one of the most powerful phyto-chemicals known in the plant kingdom. This group phyto-chemical’s are known for their potent antioxidant capability, being some 150 times more powerful than Vitamin C alone and along with their ability to be beneficial in so many parts of health we have decided to call this specialty VitaminRED."
With such great taste as well as being extra good for me, how could I resist? Find out more of the amazing health benefits of VitaminRed HERE and tell me you're not as impressed as I am!

A Navel Orange in back and a Redbelly Blood Orange in the front

Just look at the colour contrast!

How do I explain the difference in flavour? It's subtle, maybe a bit of raspberry in there, definitely more mellow than the Navel Orange though. You know how Granny Smiths and Pink Ladys are both types of apple- same same but different- just like that! Got it? I will tell you this- I would pick the Blood Orange every time over any other variety, that's for sure, it's definitely my new favourite citrus!

Now as Redbelly Blood Oranges are such seasonal items, I wanted to pair them with some other lovely fresh produce coming into season now too. Tiny truss Tomatoes are just coming in from Queensland, radishes are nice and add a bit of zing, and wild rocket greens bring a bitter edge to the mix as well

Sardines are another great Winter winner, and I thought that the sweet blood orange combined with garlic and fresh bay would really be a great match with the slightly strong, oily fish

Sardines with Blood Orange and Bay Leaves
To serve Two

about 4 Sardines per person
3 Blood Oranges- 1 for slicing, 1 for zesting and juicing, and 1 for segmenting
1 bunch fresh Bay Leaves
4 cloves Garlic thinly sliced
half bunch fresh Parsley
1/3 cup Olive Oil

Wild Rocket
baby Truss Tomatoes

Blood Orange Juice
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar

Slice one of the oranges into fairly thin half circles

Segment the other orange by peeling it, then cutting between membrane that separates each little piece from its neighbour

Nice and tidy now

Make the marinade by placing the oil, garlic, zest,crumpled bay leaves, juice and parsley in a dish. Squeeze in the juice from the orange bits left from segmenting as well- waste not, want not :)

Place 2 orange slices and two bay leaves as well as a couple of the garlic slivers into each sardine cavity

Place them all in the marinade and spoon some over as well. Pop this into the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavours develop

Grill the sardines with their stuffing in a hot pan for a few minutes each side, until they're just cooked through the middle and there's a nice bit of charring on the skin for extra flavour

Thinly slice the radishes and combine with the rocket and orange slices. Because it was a pretty cold day still, I decided to blister my tomatoes on the grill pan for a few minutes just to warm them through. Just because they were so pretty I kept them attached to the stem as well, but if it's nice and warm in your neck of the woods feel free to keep the tomatoes au naturel

Mix the dressing, adjusting the flavours to taste- I like a nice acidity from the vinegar. I was so lucky to have some local Homeleigh Grove Blood Orange olive oil on hand to make my dressing extra special and yummy!

Plate up your yummies, then drizzle all with the sweet, salty, acidic dressing to tie all the flavours in together

A perfect Winter Weekend Lunch- and extra good for you as well!

So Dear Readers, have you tried yummy Blood Oranges yet, and what's your favourite thing about Winter?

Many thanks go to Redbelly Citrus for providing me with the delicious Blood Oranges. To find the closest stockist of yummy Redbelly Citrus check out the map Here and stock up while they're in season- enjoy!



  1. Bec, this looks totally divine! Yum. And what a wonderful celebration of Redbelly oranges!

    1. Thanks Liz, the Redbelly oranges are so delicious indeed!

  2. Ooh I love sardines and I love blood orange so this dish would be gobbled up in no time by me :D

    1. You're welcome to lunch any day Lorraine :) The sardines are great at the moment and the blood oranges really are sublime indeed! Xox

  3. Oh boy! This is home cooking at its finest!

    Gourmet Getways

  4. Looks so delicious! Great job, Becca!

    1. Thanks sweetie! The flavours worked so well together xox

  5. I'm not a fan of winter either. I count the days until it's over. The only good thing about it is sipping wine while sitting around a fire. Blood oranges are my favourite type of orange and I only discovered them a few years ago. The colours are stunning. This recipe is amazing! Sardines are so good for you. I met an Italian chef last year who runs Balla at Star in Sydney and he said every time he puts sardines on the menu, no one orders them. He said they're so cheap and so good for you that everyone should be eating them! xx

    1. That's so wierd Charlie, isn't it funny the foods that come in and out of fashion? In the last cafe I worked at, every time we put up the old standbys Bangers n'Mash, or Liver and Onions, we sold out. The guys who bought them said they never had these cooked at home any more and it reminded them of their mother's cooking :) Fresh sardines are a far cry from the tinned variety, and I'd love to see them on more restaurant menus. Hopefully they'd become standard and sell out too! xox

  6. Most definitely going to try this recipe as I'm a newb when it comes to making a good fish dish and it looks delicious! Thanks :D

    1. Thanks May! I hope you enjoy them, let me know how you get on :)

  7. im glad that i'm not the only sardine fan, never tried sardines and blood oranges before - a combination i will be recreating in my kitchen!

    1. I sure hope you like them as much as I did Thalia, let me know how you get on :)

  8. I can't wait until winter is over and here I am sitting around with the sun shining and I'm barefoot. It's still winter. :) That's a pretty dish!

    1. My parents live near you and they start shivering when it hits 20* Maureen! Mum only survived her visit here because we pumped up the central heating the whole time :) I had the windows and doors open yesterday and it only hit 12*- practically tropical for this time of year!

  9. I would never have imagined to put sardines with oranges but it looks so delicious I cannot wait to try! I am also preferring my PJ's right now, and I think I should make some mulled wine for the cold :)

    1. Thanks Tandy, the flavours really do go well together indeed! I've got mulled pear and apple juice on the go tonight Tandy- family friendly this time :)