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Stuffed sardines

You'll need

80 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling 150 gm coarse sourdough breadcrumbs 80 gm (1/3 cup) pine nuts 80 gm (1/3 cup) sultanas, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained 6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped 2 tbsp each finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and mint Finely grated rind of ½ lemon 20 butterflied sardines 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped To serve: lemon wedges   Fennel, lemon and orange salad 2 baby fennel, thinly sliced on a mandolin 1 lemon, thinly sliced 1 orange, thinly sliced For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil


  • 01
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and pine nuts, stir continuously until fragrant and lightly toasted (3-5 minutes), stir in sultanas, anchovy, herbs and lemon rind, season to taste and set aside.
  • 02
  • Lay a sardine on a work surface, flesh-side up, spoon a teaspoon of breadcrumb mixture over the top, roll into a spiral to enclose filling, secure with a toothpick and set aside. Repeat with remaining sardines and stuffing.
  • 03
  • For fennel and citrus salad, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  • 04
  • Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add sardines, tail side up, scatter remaining stuffing around, cover and cook until cooked through (3-5 minutes).
  • 05
  • Transfer sardines and stuffing to a platter, serve hot with lemon wedges and fennel salad.
This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Popular in Sicily, sardines are readily available in Australia, already cleaned and butterflied. The sultanas and pine nuts in the filling are common ingredients in Sicilian cooking, having been introduced to the island by the Arabs. In Italian Food, Elizabeth David cooks the sardines in butter instead of the traditional olive oil. We too prefer butter: it will leave your sardines golden and crisp and lends a lovely caramelised flavour.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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