As you may know, yesterday I went to the island of Pellestrina with an old friend of mine, a girl who was at school with me and whose father is a fisherman. Besides spending an amazing day immersed in nature, surrounded by the water, with the sea on one side and the lagoon on the other, I was treated like a princess.
The moment we stepped in her parents' garden, I saw her mother deboning sardines for us, while her father was busy cooking. He had caught all the fish we ate, especially for us and I will always be grateful for such an amazing meal.
Out of all the delicacies I savoured, I was particularly impressed by Luciano's revisitation of the traditional sarde in saor. The traditional version is made with floured and fried sardines marinated in sautéed white onion, vinegar, raisins and pine nuts, but Ciano doesn't like raisins nor pine nuts, so he marinates them with onion-of course- vinegar and lemon juice.
Oh my... they were simply delicious! Gone, finished, disappeared from his table. It was the first time I had sarde in saor like this and I really really liked them, more summery and fresher.
The quality of the sardines was excellent, they were big and meaty and tasted of the sea. A simple home made dish that lasts for days (actually, the longer it marinates the better it tastes) and is perfect to eat cold.
They were so nice to give me some to bring home, so they made Vito a happy man! We enjoyed them in the evening with some bread and a glass of white wine...so yummy!
I loved Ciano's recipe and will sure use it to impress some guests soon and I already know the hardest part of this preparation will be waiting for the sardines to marinate without eating them...
REVISITED SARDE IN SAOR
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
1/2 kilo of sardines
1 and 1/2 white onion
75 ml white vinegar
75 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
a pinch of sugar
1) Clean the sardines (you don't have to debone them, just remove the liver) and roughly dry them.
2) Heat some oil in a pan, flour the sardines and when the oil is popping add the sardines.
Cook for a few minutes until golden, then remove.
3) Finely chop one onion and sautéed in a pan with some olive oil for about 20/30 minutes. In the meantime, in a bowl, combine some white vinegar with the juice of half squeezed lemon and a pinch of sugar.
4) When the onions are ready, pour the lemon and vinegar mixture and cook for another 10 minutes.
5) Put the sardines in a baking tray and cover with the onions and their juice. Let cool, cover with some cellophane wrap and put in the fridge. Leave in the fridge at least one day, the longer the better.
6) Serve cold with some white polenta a glass of wine.