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Escabeche of Sardines with Tarragon Vinegar

Use Ortiz 'Old Style' Sardines if fresh ones are hard to come by.


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 carrot scraped and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into fine julienne
  • 1 leek, white and light green, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium white onion, diced1 small zucchini sliced into coins
  • Pinch or 2 of sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoon
  • 6 sardines, cleaned, gutted and de-boned, heads intact
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup A L’Olivier Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon each chervil, dill, parsley, finely chopped
  • Espirt du Sel Fleur du Sel to taste Esprit du Sel Fleur de Sel


Time: 2 hours
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan over a gentle flame.
  • Add the garlic. When it starts to brown, remove it.
  • Raise the heat to medium. Add the carrot and fennel. Sauté these for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the bell pepper, leeks and the onion and sauté another 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the zucchini and a pinch of salt.
  • Cover the pan and turn the heat down to low.
  • Let the vegetable sweat for 5 minutes.
  • Raise the heat to medium. When you hear things starting to sizzle, pour in the wine and the vinegar. Reduce by ½, then stir in 3 tablespoons of oil. Remove from the heat.
  • Pour into a baking dish.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Dredge the sardines in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Shake off the excess.
  • In a deep skillet, heat the oil to almost smoking and fry the fish, turning once till golden. Put the sardines in the dish with the vegetables.
  • Refrigerate. Let them marinate together for at least an hour.
  • Arrange the vegetable on a serving dish with the fish on top.
  • Sprinkle with fleur de sel. Scatter the herbs overall.
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