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Author Notes: The humble sardine is an underappreciated fish. They're small, bony, oily, bold in flavor, and I love them. They remind me of Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean (ahhh, wish I was there...) where the sardine is highly praised, and credited for the longevity of the Mediterranean people.
This version of escabeche is subtle in the vinegar department, complemented by unexpected anise notes, the latter due to the addition of fresh tarragon. A very light and refreshing spring dish. —wildgreens
Preparing the Sardines
- 1 pound fresh sardines
- flour for dusting sardines
- sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pat the sardines dry. Sprinkle the cavity and skin with salt. Dust the sardines in flour to lightly coat. Shake off the excess flour.
- Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When smoking hot, add the sardines. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side (for larger sardines) and 2 to 3 minutes per side (for smaller sardines).
- With a sharp knife, fillet each fish. Place the fillets in a medium-sized casserole dish. Pour the marinade over the fish. Cover with plastic wrap. Let marinate in the refrigerator over night.
- 4 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk to incorporate. Pour over the sardines