Stuffed Sardines

Popular in Sicily, sardines are readily available in abundance in the UK. Terry can provide you with already cleaned and butterflied fish. The sultanas and pine nuts in the filling are common ingredients in Sicilian cooking, having been introduced to the island by invaders from the east many centuries ago.

Ingredients

80 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
150 gm coarse sourdough breadcrumbs
80 gm (1/3 cup) pine nuts
80 gm (1/3 cup) sultanas, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained
6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 tbsp each finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and mint
Finely grated rind of ½ lemon
20 butterflied sardines
40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
To serve: lemon wedges

Fennel, lemon and orange salad
2 baby fennel, thinly sliced on a mandolin
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 orange, thinly sliced
For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil

Method

1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and pine nuts, stir continuously until fragrant and lightly toasted (3-5 minutes), stir in sultanas, anchovy, herbs and lemon rind, season to taste and set aside.

2. Lay a sardine on a work surface, flesh-side up, spoon a teaspoon of breadcrumb mixture over the top, roll into a spiral to enclose filling, secure with a toothpick and set aside. Repeat with remaining sardines and stuffing.

3. For fennel and citrus salad, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.

4. Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add sardines, tail side up, scatter remaining stuffing around, cover and cook until cooked through (3-5 minutes).

5. Transfer sardines and stuffing to a platter, serve hot with lemon wedges and fennel salad.

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