DECEMBER 13 2011


Here fishy, fishy! I love me the fishiest of the fishes and these sardines fall squarely into that category. Mackerel is another oily, super-fishy, fabulous one that I love, love, love!

These babies had been curing since Friday in a lovely blend of olive oil, lemon, garlic, parsley. When I started the curing process, I had planned to enjoy them Sunday as a nice, light lunch. But we were both sooooo stuffed after feasting the night before that lunch never really happened. So tonight, I pulled them out of their oil bath and got to work. Truly, the painful part of these recipes is the curing process. Once that's done, everything else come together very quickly.

First up the Sardine, Blood Orange & Puntarelle Salad which, due to the complete lack of both blood oranges and puntarelle in any store I have recently perused, became a Sardine, Pomegranate & Dandelion Green Salad (all substitutions being sanctioned by the Frankies themselves). Wash and dry chopped dandelion greens, top with two cured sardine fillets and a handful of pomegranate seeds then drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette. I was feeling adventurous so included a spoonful of the curing oil into the dressing (extra fishy!).

pomegranate massacre!

dandelion greens

The second dish was simply Grilled Cured Sardines. After I portioned out the fillets for the salads, the rest of the sardines were destined for the grill. But... it's freaking cold outside these days, and dark, and I haven't used the grill in months so it's probably lookin a little rough, and, and, and... so I made the executive decision to use my grill pan to char the sardines inside, in the nice warm kitchen. A quick 3 minutes in the pan and the little guys are crisped up and ready to go.

My first bite was a grilled sardine. "Wow! So fishy!" Then on to the salad. Nice combination of the bitter (really, really bitter) greens with the sweetness of the pomegranate and salty, fishy sardines. Yummmmmm. I went back to the grilled sardines and decided I preferred them to those on the salad. The extra crunch from their time on the "grill" really amped it up. I am a big fan! But these will not happen again unless I find a more forgiving fishmonger who will break my sardines down to fillets for me.

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