Sardines* with Bread Crumbs,
Green Garlic and Mint
By Chef Nate Appleman
- A16, San Francisco, CA
4 (as an antipasto or 4 as a main course)
only are sardines packed with flavor and easy to prepare,
they are among the most sustainable species of fish.
The addictive, crispy skin of these sardines, and the
fresh flavors of green garlic and mint, come together
for an inviting antipasto or a light main course. Prepare
this dish in spring, when green garlic starts to appear
at farmersí markets. If green garlic is not available,
scallions make a good substitute.
2-oz. Fresh Sardines, (scaled, gutted)
Extra virgin Olive Oil
4 stalks Green Garlic, (trimmed, thinly sliced crosswise)
1⁄2 cup Coarse Fresh Bread Crumbs, (toasted)
1 tbls. Salt-packed Capers, (soaked, minced)
1⁄3 cup Fresh Mint Leaves, (loosely-packed, torn
oven to 500† F.
If the fresh
sardines have not been scaled or gutted, it is easy
to do. First, using a sharp paring knife, make a slit
along the belly of fish. Pry fish open and scrape and
rinse out its innards. Next, lay fish, flesh-side-down,
on a work surface. Grasping tail and working from tail
to head, drag blunt edge of knife the length of fish
to remove scales. Rinse fish well, pat dry and repeat
with remaining fish. Clean work surface before proceeding.
one fish at a time, remove head. Gently pry open belly
to expose the backbone. Place fish, skin-side-up, on
a work surface and run palm of hand along spine to loosen
it, then trim off back fin. Turn sardine over. Starting
at head end, pull backbone toward tail in a single motion.
Part of tail may come off with backbone. Rinse sardine
under cold running water, checking for any loose bones,
and then pat dry. Repeat with remaining sardines.
sardines on a baking sheet, skin-side-up. Season both
sides with salt and brush both sides lightly with olive
oil. Roast sardines, skin-side-up, for about 5 minutes
or until cooked through and the skin begins to sizzle.
in a small sautÈ pan, heat a few tablespoons
olive oil over medium heat. Add green garlic and sautÈ
for about 1 minute or until softened. With a slotted
spoon, remove green garlic and set aside. Over medium-low
heat, replenish sautÈ pan with a few additional
tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle in bread crumbs.
SautÈ for about 2 minutes or until they crisp
up and darken slightly. Remove from heat, add green
garlic, stir in capers and mint, and set aside until
Transfer sardines to a serving platter or divide among
individual plates. Squeeze lemon half over the top.
Spoon green garlic mixture over sardines and drizzle
with olive oil to finish. Serve immediately.
Nate Appleman Recipes
Halibut with Pistachios, Preserved Meyer Lemon, and
Sardines* with Bread Crumbs, Green Garlic and Mint
Food + Wine
with permission from A16: Food + Wine by Nate
Appleman and Shelley Lindgren, Copyright © 2008.
by Ten Speed Press.
credit: Ed Anderson © 2008
to Amazon.com to buy this book, A16
Watch: recommends wild-caught Pacific sardines
from the U.S.