*From a recipe for sardines marinated in cider or sparkling white Spanish Txakoli wine – from Chef Jose Pizarro's cookbook, Basque, published by Hardie Grant and available on amazon.com or amazon.ca.
1 bulb garlic
500 ml (17 fl oz) *Txakoli Spanish wine OR white cider vinegar
1 small French shallot, finely-chopped
5 black peppercorns
5 pink peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Few sprigs of tarragon
25 g (1 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
8 super-fresh sardines (not from the tin!), filleted
Toasted baguette or French bread to serve
Extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle
Flaky sea salt
Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F/Gas 3).
Drizzle the garlic with oil and roast for 30–40 minutes until really tender. Squeeze the pulp from the skins and mash into a paste. Set aside.
Gently heat the vinegar with the shallot, peppercorns, herbs and sugar until the sugar has dissolved, but not until it boils.
Lay the sardines skin side down in a dish and pour over the hot vinegar. Leave for a couple of minutes, then drain.
Spread the toasted baguette with some of the garlic paste. Top with the marinated sardines, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the flaky sea salt.
Txakoli (pronounced [takoli]) or Chacolí (pronounced [takoli]) is a slightly sparkling, very dry white wine with high acidity and low alcohol content produced in the Spanish provinces of the Basque Country, Cantabria and northern Burgos. Further afield, Chile is also a minor producer. (Wikipedia)