When I bought these sardines the price each was £0.22 (0.33 $) and they were quite chunky fish too. I said to the fishmonger: "My meal is going to be cheaper than a cup of coffee!". He grinned but said nothing, it was not remotely interested, it was Monday morning you understand.
He took that for granted but I felt good to buy something so cheap and so good for you. My children are fond of sardines as they often have them in Italy.
They looked beautiful, really fresh; in fact they were caught just a few hours earlier. And that is the fish you want to eat.
I decided to clean the sardines and butterfly them myself to get some practice as I often buy them already cleaned to save time. Obviously if you can get your fishmonger to do it for you that's great, you can save time. If not I have put together a little tutorial which I hope can help.
I have stuffed the sardines, rolled them up and cooked them in the oven. If you cannot find sardines, sprats would be a good alternative.
This is a tasty dish which can make a good starter or if you serve it with cous-cous or rice and salad it can be a very tasty and nutritious meal.
- Prep Time : 25 minutes
- Cook Time : 15 minutes
Clean and gut your sardines, remove the head and butterfly them. Here is how:
-Remove the head by slicing down behind each of its gills with a sharp knife.
-With a pair of scissors or a knife, cut along the belly from head to tail. Remove the guts. Rinse the belly of the fish under the tap.
-Press the fish down firmly with your thumb all the way along to the tail, flattening it down onto the board.
-Lift the backbone away from the flesh
-Remove any fine bones with some tweezers and with a knife neat the edges too.
If your sardines are big you might want to slice the fillets into two.
Wash and chop the parsley with the garlic and the capers. Put them in a bowl, add the egg, the Parmesan cheese, two tbsp of breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp of olive oil salt and pepper and mix well. The mixture should be moist, if not add a little water to it.
Spread some mixture on each butterflied sardine pressing well.
Roll them up.
Seal with a toothpick and a bay leaf.
Place them on a oiled baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkle with breadcrumbs; bake at 180C or 356F for 15 minutes or until they look slightly golden in colour.
Serve with salad, couscous or rice.
I am entering this to "Cooking with Herbs" hosted by Karen.