The River Cafe's Marinated Sardines

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This recipe calls for fresh sardines.  The scales slip off easily and you can pull the head off and remove the guts with your fingers (or ask the fishman to do it for you!)

500g fresh sardines
coarse sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
4 tablespoon red wne vinegar
extra virgin olive oil

Scale and filet the sardines (or ask the fishman to do it), rinse the fillets and pat dry.

Take a large flat plate, big enough to hold the sardines in one layer.  Sprinkle the plate with sea salt and black pepper and half the fennel, drizzle with 3 tbs of vinegar.

Place the fillets, cut side down, in one layer, covering the plate.  Season the skin side and scatter the remaining fennel seeds over.  Drizzle with olive oil and the remaining vinegar.  Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for one hour before serving.

These are delicious served with marinated yellow peppers or red peppers and/or grilled baby eggplant.  

--From The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers



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