AT A GLANCE
|01||Combine vinegar and currants in a bowl and set aside until currants are plump (30 minutes).|
|02||Preheat oven to 190C. Scatter pine nuts on an oven tray and roast, shaking occasionally, until golden (3-4 minutes). Set aside.|
|03||Combine currants, breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, lemon rind, half the lemon juice and 40ml olive oil in a bowl and season to taste.|
|04||Place sardines on a work surface skin-side down. Working with a sardine at a time, place 1 tbsp breadcrumb mixture on one end, roll to enclose filling, secure with a toothpick and thread on a bay leaf. Repeat with remaining sardines, breadcrumb mixture and bay leaves. Place in an oven dish lined with baking paper, drizzle with orange juice, remaining lemon juice and remaining oil, season to taste and bake until golden and cooked through (12-15 minutes). Serve warm with lemon wedges, and radicchio and rocket salad.|
Note This dish is named after the beccafico, a species of warbler. (Its name translates loosely as "bird that pecks at figs".) Sicilians once hunted and cooked the birds and served them with their tail feathers intact for ease of grasping and eating. The sardines, rolled up with their tails sticking out, resemble those little birds.