- 8 butterflied sardine fillets (about 100gm each), pin-boned
- 250 ml (1 cup) white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 golden shallots, shaved on a mandolin
- 800 gm heirloom cherry tomatoes
- 200 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 thyme sprigs, plus extra leaves to serve
- 4 thick slices sourdough bread
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- To serve: lemon wedges
- 1Preheat oven to 200C. Place sardines in a single layer in a non-reactive container. Bring vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaf and 50ml water to the simmer in a saucepan over high heat, add shallot, then pour over sardines and set aside to pickle (20-25 minutes). Drain sardines (discard liquid), drizzle with 80ml oil, season to taste and set aside.
- 2Meanwhile, scatter tomatoes and thyme in a roasting pan, drizzle with 2 tbsp oil, season to taste and roast until skins blister (15-20 minutes).
- 3Preheat grill to high heat. Drizzle bread with remaining oil and grill, turning once, until golden (2-3 minutes). Rub with cut-side of garlic, top with tomato mixture, sardines and shallot, season to taste, scatter with extra thyme and serve with lemon wedges.