Sardoni in Savor


















Recipe of the Month

Sardoni in Savor
(Marinated Sardines)

This ancient dish evolved out of the necessity to conserve fish and is evidence of the Venetian influence throughout Friuli. Called “sarde in saor” in Venetian dialect—“saor” having derived from “sapore,” the Italian word for “flavor”—the dish may also contain raisins or pine nuts. While sardines are used in much of Friuli and the Veneto, European anchovies—known locally as “sardoni barcolani”—are more common in the area around Trieste and the nearby town of Barcola.

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup plus 1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound sardines, cleaned and gutted, heads removed

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion; cook and stir until soft and translucent, about 15–20 minutes. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon water with 1-1/2 teaspoons flour; stir the mixture into the onion. Add the vinegar, bay leaf, salt, black pepper, and the remaining 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf.

Dredge the sardines in the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the sardines in the skillet; cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the sardines to an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish; pour the onion mixture over the sardines. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Serves 4.