AT A GLANCE
"I've always loved sardines, ever since I was a kid," says Pontoon chef Lance Cameron. "At Pontoon, I like to serve them with spicy harissa, and pickled radishes and shallots on crisp, buttery puff pastry. It's a really delicious snack if you like sardines. If you can't get fresh sardines at your local fishmonger, use blue mackerel instead." Start this recipe at least a day ahead to make the pickle.
|01||For pickles, bring ingredients except radish and shallot and 500ml water to the boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar, then reduce heat to low and simmer to infuse (5-6 minutes). Set aside to cool (10-12 minutes), then strain (discard solids). Combine radish and shallot in a sterilised 1-litre jar (see note), pour in pickling liquid, seal and refrigerate for a day and up to a week.|
|02||Preheat oven to 180C. Place puff pastry on a flat oven tray lined with baking paper, brush pastry with butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Place another sheet of baking paper on top, then another flat baking tray and bake until crisp and golden (8-9 minutes). Cool on a wire rack (10 minutes), then trim edges and cut into eight 5cm x 10cm rectangles with a serrated knife. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.|
|03||Meanwhile, for harissa, heat a grill or barbecue to high and char-grill chillies, turning occasionally, until blackened and tender (10-12 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to steam (10-12 minutes). Peel chillies, then process in a small food processor with remaining ingredients and 1 tsp salt to a smooth paste. Harissa will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days.|
|04||Brush sardines with oil and grill skin-side down without turning until charred (2 minutes), then turn and grill until just cooked (1 minute).|
|05||Top pastries with sardines, pickled radish and shallots, and dill sprigs, season with cracked black pepper and serve with harissa.|
AN AUSTRALIAN FIANO, SUCH AS THE 2015 JERICHO ADELAIDE HILLS FIANO. , suggested by JIMMY TANTSIS-HALL