- 12 fresh sardines, butterflied
- 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 1/2 cup verjus (see Note)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon black garlic (see Note)
- 1/2 teaspoon harissa
- 1 bunch watercress, torn
- 1 pound okra
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- Spread the sardines in a 9-by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish and cover them with the onion, fennel, carrot, celery, thyme, verjus and vinegar. Add 1/4 cup of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the lemon juice, black garlic and harissa.
- Line a platter with the watercress. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and oil the grates. Remove the sardines from the marinade and grill over high heat, turning once, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the sardines to a work surface and let cool slightly. Pull out the bones, then transfer the sardines to the platter.
- Preheat a vegetable grilling basket. In a bowl, toss the okra with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the okra in the basket over high heat, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the platter. In the same bowl, toss the tomatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the tomatoes in the basket, turning occasionally, just until charred, about 3 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to the platter. Serve the sardines and vegetables with the black garlic mayonnaise.
The aioli can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Verjus is made from underripe grape juice. It is available at specialty food shops or substitute 1 cup of green grapes pureed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Black garlic is available from blackgarlic.com.
One Serving 340 cal, 18 gm fat, 0.9 gm sat fat, 7 gm carb, 3 gm fiber, 39 gm protein.
Beer Light-bodied kölsch: Gaffel.
Wine Salty, spritzy Muscadet.