Sweet and sour sardines

Sweet and sour sardines

Preparing food in saor – the technique of marinating fried food in vinegar and other ingredients – was a favourite Venetian way of conserving food for long trips
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Dust the sardines in the flour and shallow-fry in oil over a medium-high heat for 1 minute on each side until golden and crisp. Season with salt and set aside on some kitchen paper to drain.
  2. Step 2

    Soak the raisins in the white wine for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, gently cook the onions in a frying pan with the olive oil over a low heat for 10 minutes until soft and transparent, then add the vinegar, the wine from the raisins (set the raisins aside), some freshly ground pepper and the spices, if using. Simmer gently for 10 minutes then remove from the heat. Taste the mixture – if it is too sharp, stir in a pinch of sugar.
  3. Step 3

    Put a layer of sardines in a dish, top them with some of the onion, raisins and pine nuts, and continue layering until the sardines are used up, then top with a layer of onions, raisins and pine nuts, and finish with the rest of the vinegar sauce poured over the top. Cover and marinate for at least 24 hours in the fridge before serving. It will keep in the fridge for up to one week.
  4. Step 4

    Eat at room temperature, removing from the fridge an hour before you want to enjoy them. Serve the sardines on slices of toasted or fresh baguette, or grilled polenta.