In Carpione-Fried Marinated Fresh Sardines
Of course my sardines didn’t come from Lago Garda, so they weren’t the best possible. But they were wild caught and ship-frozen for freshness. So when I thawed them they looked like they would start flopping around. They smelled like clean sea air. Their scales were shiny and tight & their flesh was firm to the touch.
Obviously my sardines bear no resemblance to the ones found in tins with the ring pull openers. If the latter are the only kind you’re familiar with, you have yet to experience sardines.
Marcella’s recipe is a simple preparation of fresh sardine filets, lightly fried, and marinated in a subtle dressing of oil, onions, white wine vinegar, bay leaves, and a little salt & pepper.
Filet a pound of sardines, cut into two or three pieces, dredge in flour, and fry in vegetable oil. Arrange in a single layer in an appropriately sized platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In about half of the oil that the fish was fried in, lightly sauté a cup of thinly sliced onions, just to soften. Then add ½ cup white wine vinegar and bring to a quick boil. Pour over the fish in the platter and add a few bay leaves. Cover with foil and let sit at room temperature for about 12 hours.
Can be refrigerated. But return to room temperature before serving.