“Greeks regard avgotaraho (salted and dried grey mullet roe) as a much finer product than French poutargue or Italian bottarga,” Barthelmess explains, “but it’s difficult to get in Australia so we’ve used bottarga. This dish is great with ouzo.”
- 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
- 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)
- 1For 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.
- 2Meanwhile, 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.
- 3Combine 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.
Drink Suggestion: Ouzo or dry white vermentino. Drink suggestion by Max Allen