This is a perfect springtime dish!
These stuffed sardines, a Sicilian speciality from my ” Spring in Sicily” book, are one of my very favorite dishes, perfect for this time of the year.
The combination of the strong sardine flavour, the pine nuts, currents and lemon peel is very Sicilian, probably dating from the time of the Moors.
The sardines can be eaten hot or at room temperature, as part of an antipasto, or served with grilled asparagus or a mixed salad as a main meal. The choice is yours.
- 500 gr fresh, filleted sardines
- for the stuffing:
- 5-6 anchovy filets in oil
- 70 gr fresh bread crumbs or Panco bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 3 tablespoons currants
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts
- grated zest of 1 organic lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes
- 10 fresh bay leaves to put between sardines
- lemon juice to use after sardines have baked
- extra olive oil to drizzle over sardines
pre heat the oven to 200˚
with paper towels dry the sardines and remove any hard bits
in a fry pan gently fry the anchovies, pine nuts, currants, parsley, mint and chilli flakes
add the panko bread crumbs and the lemon zest and fry a few more minutes
lay some of the stuffing onto the opened sardine filet
pull up the sides of the sardine and secure with 2 tooth picks
butter an oven proof dish that will fit the sardines comfortably
lay the stuffed sardines side by side with the occasional bay leaf in between
drizzle a little olive oil over sardines
bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden
serve with lemon juice and olive oil on the side