Fresh Sardines with Two-Olive Bread Crumb Crust

Food & Wine
If omega-3-rich fresh sardines are hard to find, small bluefish or mackerel fillets can be used instead.


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12 fresh whole sardines (about 2 1/2 pounds), heads and bones removed, fish kept intact
1 1/2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs
1/3 cup Sicilian green olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons minced rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving


1. Preheat the broiler. Spread the sardines open on a large baking sheet, skin side down. In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, green and black olives, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Top each sardine with 2 heaping tablespoons of the bread crumbs, pressing them to adhere.

2. Divide the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil between 2 large nonstick ovenproof skillets. Arrange 6 sardines in each skillet, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Set the skillets under the broiler, 1 at a time if necessary, and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden and crisp. Serve the sardines immediately with lemon wedges.

ONE SERVING Calories 380 kcal, Total Fat 25.4 gm, Saturated Fat 4.6 gm

Wine Recommendation: The assertive flavors of sardines and olives need a clean, pleasantly sharp white wine for contrast. Look for a Sauvignon Blanc-based French wine, such as the 1996 Comte Lafond Sancerre or the 1997 Michel Lynch Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux.

Created date

June 2004