Sardines with bread saladsardines 12 large
extra-virgin olive oil 5 tbsp
For the panzanella
stale Tuscan bread or ciabatta 200g, without crusts, torn up
white wine vinegar 4 tbsp
tomatoes on the vine 3
red onion 1 large, cut into 2cm dice
basil a big bunch
extra-virgin olive oil 5 tbsp
salt and pepper

First, get a griddle pan smoking-hot, otherwise the sardines won’t release their fat and will stick to the pan.

To make the panzanella: soak the bread in the vinegar. Take the tomatoes from the vine, dice and add to the bread, together with the chopped onion. Tear the basil and add that too. Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir together and set aside.
Under running water, scale the sardines and then open them out, leaving the heads attached. To do this, insert a sharp filleting knife at the tail end, next to the backbone, and cut upwards, until you reach the belly of the fish. Turn the sardine over, then cut in the same way to the same point on the other side of the bone. Starting at the tail end, take the backbone between your forefinger and thumb and run them along the length of the bone up to the head. Cut across the bone at the tail end and head end and the bone should lift out, leaving the fillets still attached at the opposite side, so you can open them out like a book. At the outside of each fillet, you will see a black area with some fine bones. Just take your knife under these parts, and remove them. Then, with a pair of tweezers, take out any pin bones that may have remained in the fillets.

When all the sardines are prepared, season, brush with a little of the olive oil and put on the hot grill, 6 at a time. Let them get crusty on one side (about 3 minutes), then turn over and do the same on the other side (about 2 minutes).


While the sardines are cooking, spoon some of the panzanella on each serving plate, then put the sardines on top, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and serve.