Sardine

Sardine

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

The true sardine is a Mediterranean fish, of the same family as herring, anchovy and pilchard. In the summer it migrates to cooler Atlantic waters, off the French and Portuguese coasts; the canning of sardines is an important industry in these regions.

Sardines, anchovies and similar small fish called sardines in other parts of the world are usually around 12–15 cm in length.

Fresh sardines are very popular in Mediterranean countries. They are usually fried, but may also be stuffed with a garlic-flavoured spinach mixture, as in Provence, or with a mixture of capers, olives, sultanas (golden raisins) and pine nuts, as in Sicily.

Sardines are available salted or tinned in oil. Salted sardines are prepared in the same way as salted anchovies – they must be thoroughly cleaned and washed, then packed in a jar with fresh olive oil. They can then be used in the same ways as tinned sardines – in salads, especially with tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs, in sandwiches and in cocktail savouries.

Basic preparation: Because the bones are soft enough to eat, the fish need little preparation before cooking – simply cut away the head from the body and gently pull out the insides and the backbone if you wish. Wash and pat dry with paper towels. The sardines can now be coated in flour and fried, or grilled (broiled), or barbecued in a hinged wire fish grill over hot coals.

Hors d’oeuvre of tinned sardines:

Arrange whole tinned sardines on a dish, dress with lemon juice and olive oil, and sprinkle with very finely chopped spring onion (scallion), a few onion rings or sieved hardboiled egg yolk.

Dress whole tinned sardines with a Fresh Herb Vinaigrette Dressing, made with lemon juice, and sprinkle over lots of chopped parsley.

Sardine Canapés:

Spread toast rectangles with Garlic Butter. Slip an onion ring over each tinned sardine and place on toast. Decorate with finely chopped hard-boiled egg and chives, strips of tinned pimiento or sliced stuffed olives.

Remove bones from 1 tin sardines. Mash, then season with lemon juice and grated onion. Bind with a little mayonnaise and pile on buttered toast rounds. Serve as is, or top each with a small square of cheese and grill (broil) until melted. Serve hot.

Spread toast rectangles with Garlic Butter. Arrange slices of hard-boiled egg on toast. Top with a small sardine and a little Green Mayonnaise.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

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