Roasted Sardines with Confit Peppers

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

4 large sardines, gutted, boned and cleaned, with their heads
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
250 ml (9 fl oz) olive oil
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
1 slice of rye bread, 1cm ( 1/2 inch) thick

4 large sardines, gutted, boned and cleaned, with their heads
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
250 ml (9 fl oz) olive oil
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
1 slice of rye bread, 1cm ( 1/2 inch) thick

Chermoula sauce

6 tbsp olive oil
1 large spoonful of chermoula
1 tsp grated fresh root ginger
100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) prepared saffron
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Prepare the chermoula first, by mixing together all the ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 130 C/250 F/gas mark 1/2. Season the sardines with three quarters of the salt and the pepper and keep aside in a colander. Keep 3 tablespoons of olive oil to season the peppers later.

Put the peppers and garlic cloves in an ovenproof dish. Add the remaining olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for an hour. Reserve the roasting oil.

Turn up the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Peel and de-seed the peppers and then cut the flesh into strips. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice and the remaining salt. Keep them at room temperature while you make the sardines.

Cut the crusts off the bread. Thinly spread the soft roasted garlic on to the bread, then cut four 3cm ( 1/2 inch) squares of bread and discard the rest. Take the sardines, with the skin under, and make a 3cm ( 1/2 inch) incision in each near the tail. Spread with chermoula sauce. Pour 3 tablespoons of the olive oil from roasting into a small pan and heat for 2 minutes. Dip the bread in it. Put one piece of bread near the sardine's head.

Tuck the head back over the bread and insert it into the incision near the tail. Repeat with all the sardines. Place them on a baking tray brushed with a little oil and bake for 4 minutes. Serve on a bed of roasted pepper.

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