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Cured sardine, fennel, mushroom and bottarga salad on croûtons

You'll need

11 thin rye loaf slices, cut into 5cm x 3cm pieces 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing 1 baby fennel bulb, shaved 5 button mushrooms, shaved on a mandolin 2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley 50 gm bottarga, shaved   Marinated sardines 160 ml (2/3 cup) white wine vinegar 160 ml white wine 1 tsp fennel seeds 1 fresh bay leaf 1 lemon, zested rind only 8 sardine fillets (or 4 butterflied sardines)


  • 01
  • For marinated sardines, combine all ingredients except sardines in a saucepan, bring to the boil over high heat, then remove from heat and stand until cool(30-40 minutes). Place sardines in a non-reactive dish in a single layer, cover with marinade and stand for 1 hour at room temperature to lightly cure.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Place bread in a single layer on a baking tray, brush lightly with oil and bake, turning once, until toasted (10-15 minutes). Set aside.
  • 03
  • Combine fennel, mushrooms and parsley in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and 1 tbsp marinade, season to taste and toss lightly to combine. Remove sardines from remaining marinade, cut each into four pieces, place one piece on each croûton, top with salad, then a little bottarga, and serve.
This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Ouzo or dry white vermentino.

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