Marinated Sardines with Fennel, Raisins and Pine Nuts


Slideshow:  Fast Fish Recipes


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  • Servings: 6

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  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh sardines, filleted
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium fennel bulb—fronds coarsely chopped, bulb cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

How to make this recipe

  1. Season the sardines with salt and pepper and dust with the cornmeal. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Cook the sardines over moderately high heat until just white throughout, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish and spread the sliced fennel on top.

  2. In a small saucepan, simmer the Champagne vinegar, raisins, sugar, cinnamon and bay leaf over moderate heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture over the sardines and let stand for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.

  3. In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Drizzle the marinated sardines with the remaining 2 table- spoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and fennel fronds and serve.

Suggested Pairing

"You need a wine that can counterbalance these intense sardines," says Dan Amatuzzi of Mario Batali's quickly fried fish marinated in sweet Champagne vinegar, the classic Venetian dish sardines in saor. He selects a Verdicchio from Le Marche with sweet pear notes.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published April 2010

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