Recipe: Grosseto-style Fish Salad

Recipe: Grosseto-style Fish Salad

Introducing our new cookbook, Acquacotta by Emiko Davies, now featured in our Larder Love gift hamper! Helping you can find something extra meaningful for your foodie friend. 

We wanted to share a sneak peak into what you can find in this bestseller!



When it’s too hot to cook in summer and you need a handy, fast, filling meal that you can pull together in just minutes, this salad is here to save you. It’s also a good make-ahead dish (let the flavours mingle), which is ideal for packing for picnic lunches for the beach. Traditionally made by boiling a variety of pesce azzuro (oily fish), such as anchovies, sardines and mackerel, the tinned versions of these fish are perfectly suited (or you can use your own Bonito Preserved in Oil, page 69), making this a quick and tasty meal.

Inspired by a recipe I spotted in Laura Rangoni’s Tuscan seafood cookbook La Cucina Toscana di Mare, I’ve adapted it a little to suit my tastes and make it my summer staple. The original recipe calls for 4–5 raw garlic cloves, chopped and muddled through the salad. It’s a bit overpowering for me. I prefer to leave them out entirely but garlic lovers might like to add them. You can use capers in brine instead of the salted ones (brined ones don’t require soaking) but I always prefer salted capers.


Serves 4


2 teaspoons salted capers

10–12 green olives in brine

2 fresh tomatoes, chopped

300 g (10½ oz) tinned sardines (or any other tinned fish, such as tuna or mackerel)

juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped


Rinse the capers of the salt and place in a bowl. Cover with water and let them soak for about 15 minutes. Drain, pat dry, then finely chop.


Rinse the capers of the salt and place in a bowl. Cover with water and let them soak for about 15 minutes. Drain, pat dry, then finely chop.


Combine the capers, olives and tomatoes in a salad bowl. Drain the tinned fish and crumble into the bowl. Toss with the lemon juice, olive oil and parsley to combine well. Taste for seasoning and, if desired, add freshly ground black pepper (between the fish, capers and olives, you’ve got a lot of flavour going on and you may only need the tiniest pinch of salt, if any).


This is an edited extract from Acquacotta by Emiko Davies, published by Hardie Grant Books. Available in stores nationally, RRP$49.99. Photography by Lauren Bamford.

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