These Greek-style sardines are baked with sultanas and breadcrumbs for a contemporary twist. Serve with lemon and honey sauce and a crisp Greek salad.
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 70 g (1 cup) coarse fresh breadcrumbs
- 40 g (¼ cup) pine nuts
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 80 g (½ cup) sultanas, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 kg (about 18) sardines, cleaned, heads removed
- 5 bay leaves
- Greek salad (optional), to serve
Lemon and honey sauce
- 125 ml (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested, juiced
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup oregano leaves, roughly chopped
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.
Drink 2010 Gaia Estate Assyrtiko Thalassitis ($37)
Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat oil in a frying pan over low–medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and pine nuts, and cook, stirring continuously, for 3 minutes or until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Increase heat to medium and add onion to pan. Cook for 3 minutes or until softened. Add sultanas and garlic, and cook for a further minute or until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
To make lemon and honey sauce, whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
To butterfly sardines, place sardines, belly-side down, on a chopping board, press gently along the spine to flatten and open up sardines. Turn sardines over, flesh-side up, gently pull spine away from flesh towards tail and break off spine just above tail, leaving tail intact. Place sardines, slightly overlapping, in a single layer in a greased 40 cm round baking dish and scatter with bay leaves, sultana mixture and lemon and honey sauce. Top with crumb mixture and bake for 15 minutes or until sardines are just cooked. Serve with Greek salad, if desired.
As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2012, Issue 6. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.
Photography by Brett Stevens.