Cured sardine, fennel, mushroom and bottarga salad on croûtons

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • 11 thin rye loaf slices, cut into 5cm x 3cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 baby fennel bulb, shaved
  • 5 button mushrooms, shaved on a mandolin
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 50 gm bottarga, shaved
  •  
  • Marinated sardines
  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) white wine vinegar
  • 160 ml white wine
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, zested rind only
  • 8 sardine fillets (or 4 butterflied sardines)
01   For marinated sardines, combine all ingredients except sardines in a saucepan, bring to the boil over high heat, then remove from heat and stand until cool(30-40 minutes). Place sardines in a non-reactive dish in a single layer, cover with marinade and stand for 1 hour at room temperature to lightly cure.
02   Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Place bread in a single layer on a baking tray, brush lightly with oil and bake, turning once, until toasted (10-15 minutes). Set aside.
03   Combine fennel, mushrooms and parsley in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and 1 tbsp marinade, season to taste and toss lightly to combine. Remove sardines from remaining marinade, cut each into four pieces, place one piece on each croûton, top with salad, then a little bottarga, and serve.
This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

JANNI KYRITSIS AND JONATHAN BARTHELMESS

Photography:

JASON LOUCAS

Styling:

KIRSTEN BOOKALLIL

Drinking Suggestion:

OUZO OR DRY WHITE VERMENTINO. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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