This is a similar dish to the mackerel recipe (p. 44) but with this we’ve created different tastes and textures. It’s not just an alternative, therefore, but a dish quite rightly out on its own (see pp. 234–5). It may sound a little complicated but believe me, it’s simple and tasty, so try it!

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Ingredients

  • 8 fresh sardines, scaled and filleted
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 × 1 cm (½ in) slices crusty or onion bread
  • 1 quantity Stewed Tomatoes, Pesto and Onions
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) Hollandaise Sauce (optional)

Method

In a dish large enough to hold the sardines in one layer, mix the olive oil with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Lay the sardine fillets into the oil and leave for 1–2 hours to take on the taste.

Brush the bread slices with a little of the marinade oil. These slices can now be toasted on both sides until golden. Warm the stewed tomatoes with pesto.

Pre-heat the grill to hot. Season the sardine fillets with salt and pepper and lay them on a tray or grill rack and place under the hot grill. Just cook until slightly coloured. Providing the grill is hot this will only take 2 – 3 minutes.

To serve, spoon some hollandaise sauce, if using, on to four plates or into bowls, spreading it a little into a circle. Sit the toasts on top, and spoon the tomatoes with pesto on to them. Sit the sardines overlapping on top and just pour a little of the excess oil from the tray over the fish.

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