Sardines on toast with suquet

Sardines on toast with suquet

By
From
Catalonia
Serves
4
Photographer
Laura Edwards

This is my idea of the perfect comfort food. You have to eat it with your hands – getting a bit messy is part of it.

I’ve made some changes to the traditional recipe, which usually has lots more sauce and is served in a bowl rather than on toast. The sardines are also usually grilled, not fried.

I’m also using potatoes to thicken the sauce, rather than picada, as I think it makes it all the more comforting.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50ml olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 green (bell) pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon pimentón
500g small waxy potatoes
1 dried choricero pepper
300ml fresh fish stock
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

for the sardines

Quantity Ingredient
4 small fresh sardines, filleted
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 lemon, zested
a squeeze lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
olive oil, for deep-frying
3 tablespoons plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 free-range egg, beaten
4 slices sourdough, toasted
extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Method

  1. Put the sardines in a dish with the garlic, lemon zest and juice and parsley. Set aside to marinate while you make the suquet.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and gently fry the onions and pepper for 20 minutes until really softened. Add the pimentón and cook for a minute. Insert the tip of a sharp knife into the potatoes and twist to crack them open (instead of slicing). Add them to the pan with the choricero pepper, stock and plenty of seasoning. Cover and simmer gently for 40 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the sauce thick.
  3. In a small deep pan, heat the olive oil for deep-frying to 180°C – or until a cube of bread browns in 20 seconds. Remove the sardines from the marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper. Dip in the seasoned flour then in the beaten egg. Carefully drop into the oil and fry for just a minute or two until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Spoon the suquet onto the toasted sourdough, top with the fried sardines and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to finish.
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