Fall

Fried Sardines Wrapped in Sage

by:
October 27, 2021
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Photo by snewms
Author Notes

Fancy, fast, full of flavor and NO FUSS. This dish is made with ingredients that feature in cuisines from all over the world. I drew my inspiration from the Mediterranean coast where sardines and sage are found in a variety of dishes from Italy to Lebanon and many lands in between. —snewms

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 6
Ingredients
  • Fried Sardines
  • 6 fillets of sardines (packed in olive oil)
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon parsley leaves, dried and crushed (usually comes in the spice section)
  • 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 6 toothpicks
  • Salsa Verde
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons flat-leafed parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 dash aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes).
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Fried Sardines
  2. chop chives and set aside (they will be used for garnish).
  3. zest lemon, set aside (it will also be used as garnish).
  4. gently remove each sardine fillet from its container and wrap the middle of each sardine with 1 sage leaf, pinning it together with the toothpick, just as you would use a safety pin.
  5. heat oil in pan on medium heat until it starts to lightly smoke (you can always check the heat of the oil by letting a drop of water fall into the oil and if it sizzles, the oil has reached a good frying temperature).
  6. place each wrapped sardine in oil and fry until lightly browned and crispy on each side (this will take anywhere from 2-4 minutes depending on the temperature of your oil. you can check them periodically by lifting them up, but don't flip until they've reached desired color and crisp.) **if your pan is small, work in batches.
  7. once you have finished frying each fillet on both sides, transfer them to a plate/board/temporary platform while you construct the final plate and squeeze some lemon juice on top.
  8. spoon some of the salsa verde into the center of your serving dish (flat plate, wide/shallow bowl, board)
  9. thoughtfully place each fillet on the bed of sauce, leaving a bit of space in between. (i choose not to remove the toothpick, but feel free to take it out if you'd like).
  10. sprinkle the fish generously with the chives, dried parsley, and lemon zest and finish with just a touch of flakey sea salt.
  11. OPTIONAL: I like to also garnish mine with a bit of preserved lemon. It adds another layer to the depth of flavor, bright, slightly bitter and a wonderful texture.
  1. Salsa Verde
  2. finely chop all your herbs, set aside in small bowl
  3. chop garlic clove and add it to the herbs
  4. add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, peppers and mix well. taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  5. set aside.

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