Mediterranean Sardine Escabèche

Credit: Didier Loire
Ingredients (4 people)


Step 1: Sardines

Cut the tails of the sardines into a “V” shape. Scale the fish, remove the head, and clean carefully. Rinse thoroughly under running water to remove any blood and remaining scales, then gently pat dry with a dishcloth.

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Lightly season the sardines with salt, and briefly sear them, just enough to roast the skins quickly, Drain over wire mesh.

Rub the inside of a baking dish with garlic, and place the sardines head to tail in the dish. Pour a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil over them, add the basil leaves, and cover with boiling court bouillon (prepared below).

Delicately even out the court bouillon vegetables over the sardines and let cool. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Step 2: Court Bouillon

Peel all the vegetables.

Slice the baby carrots evenly, and remove the center with a small piping tip 1/5 inch (5 mm) in diameter.

Cut the onions into rings the same size as the baby carrots.

Remove the sprout from the garlic cloves.

Remove the rind and pith completely from the lemons, and cut into 1/5 inch (5 mm) thick slices.

Pour the white wine and the vinegar into a pot, bring to a boil, and add the herbs and all of the other ingredients except the lemons. Season and simmer until the carrots and onions are cooked, then add the lemon slices, bring to a boil and remove from the heat.

Step 3: Cooking and Serving

Rub the baguette with garlic. Cut into slices, then dry in a 250°F (120°C) oven until golden brown.

Take the sardine mixture out of the refrigerator; it should be slightly gelled. Gently remove the vegetables. Mash half the lemons into a fine puree, then emulsify part of the cooking juices with the lemon puree and extra-virgin olive oil.

Spread a tablespoon of sauce on the bottom of each plate, lay the sardines over it, and arrange the vegetables over the top. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, and scatter a few grains of fleur de sel over the top. Add the garlic toasts and serve.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits