Stuffed sardines


  • Serves 4 people

  • 16 sardine fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 75 gm (½ cup) plain flour, seasoned
  • Parsley stuffing
  • 140 gm white bread, coarsely torn
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 40 gm (½ cup) finely grated parmesan
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ clove of garlic
  • Fennel and orange salad
  • 2 bulbs of baby fennel, thinly sliced using a mandolin, fronds reserved for garnish
  • 2 navel oranges, peeled, pith removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
01   For parsley stuffing, process ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Makes about 2/3 cup.
02   Place a sardine fillet skin-side down in the palm of your hand, top with 1 tbsp of stuffing (not too close to the edge), flattening slightly. Sandwich with another sardine fillet skin-side up, pressing lightly to stick, and place on a tray. Repeat with remaining sardines and stuffing.
03   For salad, arrange fennel and orange slices on plates, drizzle with oil, season to taste with sea salt and chilli flakes and scatter over fennel fronds.
04   Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Lightly dust stuffed sardines with flour and fry, in batches, for 2 minutes on each side or until golden and just cooked through. Season with sea salt and serve immediately with fennel and orange salad to the side.
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