Figure 1: Close-up of the stuffed sardines.
Figure 2: Stuffing mixture.
Figure 3: All of the stuffed sardines in neat rows ready to be baked in the oven.
This is a really simple and nutritious recipe which is originally from a cookbook by Jill Dupleix. Countless house moves have meant that I no longer have the book with me so the above version is from memory and I probably have inadvertently deviated from the original recipe. In any case, this is how I now make it.
½ kg of sardines, cleaned and gutted with the heads removed
¼ of a cup of finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of pine nuts (finely ground in a pestle and mortar)
2 tablespoons of raisins or sultanas (soaked in some hot water for about 15 minutes)
salt and pepper
zest of half a lemon
¼ of a cup of freshly made breadcrumbs
1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus more for drizzling on top
Lemon wedges to serve
Mix all of the above ingredients together using olive oil to moisten and bind the mixture.
Place the stuffing inside the cleaned stomach cavity of the sardines.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for between twenty minutes to half an hour or until the sardine stuffing is crisp and brown and the sardines are baked. Serve either hot or cold with fresh lemon wedges.