World Cuisine

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • pared rind of 1 small orange
  • pared rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed dried chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 4 large or 8 small sardines, filleted
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • salt
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Pour half the oil into a large, heavy-based frying pan and stir in the fennel and onion. Add the citrus rind, dill, fennel seeds and crushed chillies and place the pan over a very low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 12–15 minutes until the fennel and onion are golden and caramelized, being careful not to burn. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in half the breadcrumbs and parsley. Season with salt and leave to cool.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil over a large baking sheet. Add half the sardine fillets, skin-side down. Season lightly with salt, then spread the fennel mixture over each fillet. Press a second fillet on top, skin-side up, and scatter with the remaining breadcrumbs and parsley. Drizzle with the remaining oil and squeeze the lemon juice over the fish. Season again with salt.

Cook under a preheated high grill for 6–8 minutes until the fish is opaque all the way through. Serve with lemon wedges, accompanied by a tomato and lettuce salad.

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