Stuffed Sardines w/ Sweet and Sour Peppers

Stuffed Sardines w/ Sweet and Sour Peppers

Sardines aren’t usually cause for excitement, but this ultra tasty dish is sure to forever change your outlook on these itty bitty fish. Unexpected ingredients combine to create a delicious appetizer fit for a wide range of occasions.
20 fresh sardines, scaled, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 anchovy fillets
1 cup of bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of currants
2 tablespoons of sliced almonds
2 bunches of flat Italian parsley finely, chopped to yield 1/2 cup
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 lemons sliced into 10 slices

Preheat the oven to a setting of 350 degrees.

Clean sardines, leaving the head on. Use your thumbnail to remove the spine from head to tail, then carefully leave head and tail intact. Rinse in order to remove small bones and then set aside.

Using a 12- to 14-inch saute pan, heat the 1/4 cup of oil, garlic and anchovies over a medium high heat until the garlic starts to lightly brown. Add in bread crumbs and then toast until golden, stirring constantly, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the currants, almonds, parsley, zest and half of the orange juice. Mix well and set aside.

Lay the sardines on their backs and open like books, placing a heaping tablespoon of stuffing into each one and pinch closed. Finish all of the sardines and set in refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Using a 12- to 14-inch saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium high heat, add the red onion and red and green peppers and saute them until just softened, which will take about 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the remaining orange juice, vinegar and sugar, then stir through and remove from the heat. Pour into 12- to 14-inch oven-proof casserole. Arrange the lemon slices around the perimeter of pan, on top of peppers and place 2 sardines onto each slice quite close together. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes uncovered. Serve it hot or at room temperature.



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