Serve hot or cold. Dish is designed to be part of a shared meal.
1 lemon, zested, juiced
1 orange, juiced
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
6 anchovy fillets
95 g stale breadcrumbs
2 tsp baby capers, drained
40 g (¼ cup) pine nuts
40 g (¼ cup) sultanas
1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
24 whole sardines, cleaned, backbone removed, butterflied
12 fresh bay leaves
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 oven to 200°C. Whisk lemon and orange juices, sugar, vinegar and ¼ tsp pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add anchovies and cook for 1 minute, stirring, or until melted. Add 70 g breadcrumbs and cook for a further 4 minutes or until light golden. Remove from heat, add lemon zest, capers, pine nuts, sultanas and mint and stir to combine. Season with pepper and set aside.
Scatter 2 tbsp breadcrumbs over the base of a lined oven tray. Place 12 sardines, skin-side down, in baking dish and top each with 2 tsp of anchovy filling. Top with remaining 12 sardines, skin-side up, and place a bay leaf between each sardine pair. Drizzle with lemon and orange mixture and scatter over remaining 2 tbsp breadcrumbs. Bake for 10 minutes or until sardines are just cooked.
DRINK 2011 Oliver’s Taranga Vermentino, McLaren Vale ($24)
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 11, pg54.
Photography by John Reyment.