A simple dish using fresh sardines served with a vibrant bread and parsley sauce.
- 2 cups roughly torn day-old crustless sourdough
- 2 cups flat-leaf parsley
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 eschalot
- 60 ml (¼ cup) lemon juice
- 250 ml (1 cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for cooking
- 12 sardine fillets, or fresh whole sardines
- lemon wedges, to serve
- fennel tips or parsley leaves, to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Place half of the bread, the parsley, garlic and shallot in a food processor or blender and process until roughly chopped, adding a little water as necessary to get the mixture going. Then while blending on high, gradually add the lemon, then the olive oil. Process until very smooth, and season with salt and pepper.
Toss the remaining bread with plenty of olive oil and salt and toast in the oven until golden and crisp. Remove and set aside.
If using whole sardines, remove the head and spine. Lightly oil a baking tray and place the sardines, skin side up on the tray, season the skin and drizzle with a little oil. Roast for 4-5 minutes or until the flesh begins to change colour. Remove from the oven.
Spread the bread and parsley sauce over plates, arrange the fillets on top, squeeze over some lemon juice, scatter over the croutons and garnish with fennel tips or parsley leaves.
Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel.
Matt McConnell is the head chef at Bar Lourinhã. This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.
This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.