Escabeche is traditionally cured overnight, but we’ve made a quick version here. You could also serve the sardines the following day.
- 12 butterflied sardines
- For dusting: seasoned plain flour
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion
- 350 ml sherry vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- 2 bunches white asparagus, trimmed
- 2 oranges, thinly sliced crossways
- 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1Lightly dust skin-side of sardines in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Heat 20ml oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add half the sardines, skin-side down, cook until crisp (2-3 minutes), turn and cook for 30 seconds. Place carefully in a deep-sided non-reactive tray in a single layer, set aside. Wipe pan clean with absorbent paper, repeat with remaining sardines and oil.
- 2Meanwhile, slice half the onion into thin rings and set aside. Coarsely chop remaining onion and combine with 300ml vinegar, garlic and paprika in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, pour over sardines and set aside to marinate (10-15 minutes).
- 3Meanwhile, blanch asparagus (1-2 minutes), then refresh, drain and halve lengthways. Combine in a bowl with onion rings, orange and parsley. Whisk remaining vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl to combine, toss through salad, season to taste.
- 4To serve, remove sardines from marinade with a slotted spoon, drizzle over a little marinade, and serve with salad.
This recipe is from the October 2009 issue of .