while i was in italy, i had fresh sardines quite a few ways.
the first one, sarde alla beccaficu, is a sicilian recipe where you make a stuffing with chopped pine nuts, golden raisins, toasted breadcrumbs, olive oil, chopped parsely, and grated parmesan. then lay one whole boned sardine flat skin side down, top with this stuffing, and top with another sardine skin side up. make a whole bunch of these on a sheet tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprigs of whole fresh thyme and bay leaf, and bake for maybe 5-7 minutes in a 400 oven until the fish is just done.
alternatively, i've seen beccaficu done with one fish and the stuffing is rolled inside of the fish and then placed vertically on a sheetpan.
or you can make cotellettine di sarde. this is an italian take on the famous cotelete milanese. basically, the sardines are floured, eggwashed, and coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. delicious.
A couple of weeks ago (2/24/02), the NY Times Magazine had a piece on sardines, with recipes. One was for "Stargazy Pie" -- adapted from Jane Grigson's Fish Cookbook. Cleaned, scaled, filleted, tailless head-on sardines sprinkled with mustard, herbs, and cooked bacon and eggs, sealed in a double-crust pie. It's the cutest thing, all these little heads peeking out from under the top crust!
There was another recipe for "Grilled Moroccan Sardines" adapted from The Moroccan Collection by Hilaire Walden. And one for Marinated Sardines, sort of like ceviche, with onions, fennel, celery, and carrot, marinated for 20 minutes in verjus and wine vinegar, then drained and covered with olive oil.
Thanks for the ideas Eddie and Suzanne. I don't think I'll make stargazy pie; sounds very cute but I think that would fall in the "strange foods" category for me. I love ceviche style dishes, but I don't think these frozen sardines are fresh enough to try that idea.
I think I'll try the first beccaficu recipe and the cotellettine since I have ingredients for both.
Fresh sardines are a very popular dish in Greece.
When you visit Risa I will make you some
We just put them in a pan in the oven with some olive oil, lemon juice, a pinch of oregano and you can cover them with cut tomato, so they do not over dry in the oven.
Don't forget the parsley when they are ready.
Serve with white wine chilled
Thanks for the invite Atheneaus That sounds delicious and healthy, too. I'll try your recipe next week after I buy more sardines. They're perfect when cooking for one.
I did a combination of the two suggestions by Elakin for my 4 medium-sized sardines. I stuffed them then egg wash, panko and fried. Served with a little lemon and some polenta and it was the best dinner I've had all week.