AT A GLANCE
|01||To make the sweet onion, place onion, olive oil and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. The onion should start to wilt and soften somewhat, but still maintain a subtle bite or crunch. Transfer to a stainless-steel bowl, stir in vinegar and cover with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature, then stir in raisins and set aside.|
|02||For the pine nut tarator, preheat oven to 180C. Spread pine nuts on an oven tray and roast for a few minutes until golden. Allow to cool, then transfer to a chopping board and chop roughly. Using a mortar and pestle, crush garlic with a pinch of salt. Add lemon juice and red wine vinegar, then let garlic “cook” for 5 minutes in the acid before adding chopped pine nuts, parsley, sumac and extra-virgin olive oil. Stir well to incorporate, then set aside.|
|03||Preheat a barbecue or char-grill pan. Cut slices of bread into fingers roughly the same width as a sardine fillet. Grill bread on both sides, then brush with a little extra-virgin olive oil and set aside.|
|04||Meanwhile, season skin-side of sardine fillets with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan over low heat, add olive oil and gently fry fillets, skin-side down, for about 1 minute until just cooked through. Remove fillets from pan and season with a squeeze of lemon juice.|
|05||Place a tablespoon of sweet onion on each toast finger and spread it right to the edges. Top with a sardine fillet, skin-side up, followed by a generous teaspoon of pine nut tarator. Scatter with pickled garlic slices and dill and eat immediately.|
Note Cumulus Inc. by Andrew McConnell is published by Penguin Lantern ($59.95, hbk). This extract has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.