Sardèle in Saòr Crostini
1 hour (plus resting time)
serves: 12-16 people
Gonzo and I argued about this dish a bit when I first introduced it during the Venetian dinner. Sweet and vinegary, “they won’t go for it”, he said. I was almost convinced to take out the raisins, but I am glad I kept them. Sardines are amazing! I don’t know why everyone here is so afraid of sardines and anchovies. Dusted with flour and fried, they turn decadent, especially when paired with the vinegar flavor of the marinated onions and the sweetness of the raisins. Make this dish several days in advance, it gets better with time. And don’t be afraid if you have too much liquid, the sardines soak up a lot.
I originally created this recipe for our Venetian Dinner last year (find all of our Venetian recipes in Chez Nous: Communal Dinners), and have served it many times since then due to how popular and easy the dish is! We originally served it with a beautiful Focaccia bread, but I found it works beautifully on top of my Baguettes as well. I brought the recipe back for the book launch of my first cookbook Chez Nous: Communal Dinners this past Saturday.
Generally, we serve sit-down dinners, but for this reception, I wanted to feature recipes from the book that could be made in advance and served buffet style so I did not have to worry about anything being too cold or losing its texture throughout the event. I focused on appetizers and desserts. I served five different appetizers from the book including Baba Ganoush, Cilantro Chutney, Hummus, with Buttered Naan as well as Sardele in Saor Crostini and Fresh Mozzarella Pesto Crostini. Our desserts included a beautiful Tiramisu from our Venice Chapter, a Sweet Potato Batatada from our Macao Chapter, A Sweet Cheese Martabak from Jerusalem, and a Victoria Sandwich Cake from the High Tea Guide.
I will be posting the rest of these recipes later in the week, so stay tuned for more!
- 1 pound small sardines, patted dry (I use 4 oz tins packed in oil or water)
- flour to coat
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 4 ounces pine nuts
- 4 large, or 6 medium, onions, thinly sliced
- 12 ounces white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup golden or white raisins soaked in hot water and drained
- Season flour with salt and pepper and coat the sardines, shaking off any excess. Brown in oil for a few minutes on each side, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Toast pine nuts, 5 minutes.
- Cook onion in olive oil for 20-30 minutes. Add vinegar. Add pine nuts and raisins.
- Layer onion mixture and sardines. Leave in fridge to absorb for at least a day, but up to a week. I have had leftovers 2 weeks afterwards, the vinegar keeps the dish fresh for quite a while!