Using tinned sardines, you can knock this up from the contents of a well-stocked pantry, but fresh sardines take it to a whole other level.
- 300 ml white wine vinegar
- 50 ml dry white wine
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ small Spanish onion, thinly sliced
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced, plus 1 clove extra, halved
- 70 ml olive oil
- 20 sardine fillets (45gm each)
- For dusting: seasoned plain flour
- 8 thick sourdough bread slices
Parsley and lemon salad
- 2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
- 2 lemons, seeds removed, segmented, juice reserved
- 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1Preheat a grill to high heat. Combine vinegar, wine, sugar, onion, herbs and sliced garlic in a saucepan, season to taste, bring to the boil over high heat, set aside.
- 2Meanwhile, heat 20ml oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Dust sardines in seasoned flour, shaking off excess, then cook in batches, skin-side down, until golden (2-3 minutes), turn and cook for another minute. Wipe out pan with absorbent paper between batches. Transfer to a heatproof, non-reactive dish large enough to hold sardines in a single layer. Pour over vinegar mixture and stand for 5 minutes.
- 3Meanwhile, drizzle bread with remaining oil and grill, turning once, until golden and toasted (1-2 minutes each side), rub with cut-side of garlic and keep warm.
- 4For parsley and lemon salad, combine ingredients in a bowl, breaking up lemon segments with your fingers, season to taste and toss lightly to combine. Serve with soused sardines and sourdough toast.
Drink Suggestion: A shot of very cold vodka or a small glass of lager. Or both. Drink suggestion by Max Allen