Crispy Fried Sardines with Sauce Vierge
- 500g Market Street Sardines, cleaned and heads removed
- 1 lemon, finely grated lemon zest
- 30ml olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 150g plain flour
- Sunflower/olive oil, for shallow frying
- Lemon wedges, to serve
For Sauce Vierge:
- 4 large vine ripened tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed whole
- 3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh herbs such as chives, tarragon, parsley and coriander
- 80ml extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 30ml red wine vinegar
- ½ tbsp of lightly toasted and crushed coriander seeds
- Score a cross in the skin of the base of the tomatoes and place in a bowl.
- Boil a kettle and pour the hot water over the tomatoes.
- Leave for 10 seconds until the skin near the cross starts to curl.
- Place in cold water, then peel off the skin.
- To deseed, cut through the centre of the tomato then cut into quarters.
- Use a small knife and cut through the flesh at the top and pull out the seeds, or a teaspoon and scoop the seeds out.
- Roughly chop the tomato mix with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and leave to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Place the sardines, lemon rind, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat. Set sardines aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Dust the sardines in the flour.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat, add some oil approximately 1 cm depth and cook the sardines, in a couple of batches, for 1 minute each side or until golden and crispy.
- Serve with fresh salad leaves and the sauce vierge.