Fresh Sardines with Two-Olive Bread Crumb Crust
- SERVINGS: 4
If omega-3-rich fresh sardines are hard to find, small bluefish or mackerel fillets can be used instead.
- 12 fresh whole sardines (about 2 1/2 pounds), heads and bones removed, fish kept intact
- 1 1/2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup Sicilian green olives, pitted and chopped
- 1/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons minced rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Preheat the broiler. Spread the sardines open on a large baking sheet, skin side down. In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, green and black olives, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Top each sardine with 2 heaping tablespoons of the bread crumbs, pressing them to adhere.
- Divide the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil between 2 large nonstick ovenproof skillets. Arrange 6 sardines in each skillet, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Set the skillets under the broiler, 1 at a time if necessary, and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden and crisp. Serve the sardines immediately with lemon wedges.
The assertive flavors of sardines and olives need a clean, pleasantly sharp white wine for contrast. Look for a Sauvignon Blancbased French wine.