Sarde in saor is a typical Venetian sardine recipe. Some use the name ’sweet and sour sardines’ as well. It’s a bloody easy appetizer to prepare and a real treat for a hot summer’s evening. Sarde in soar is served cold and preferably eaten with bread. I first got to taste it in the picturesque small island village of Burano not far from the coast of Venice. Some chefs add white wine and almonds to the recipe. I don’t want to overcomplicate the sardines so I kept it very basic by just adding raisins.
It is made with fresh sardines. You can ask your fish monger to clean them for you. There’s really not a lot to it. If you feel comfortable enough you can do it yourself.
Venetian Sarde in Saor
Sarde in Saor: a cold Venetian sardine recipe with vinegar and onions, the perfect summer entree.
- 4 fresh sardines
- 1 medium yellow onion
- ½ cup (120 ml) red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) water
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp raisins
- olive oil
- Peel and trim the yellow onion. Slice it up finely and transfer to a saucepan. Pour in the vinegar and water.
- Cook for a couple of minutes over medium-high heat until the vinegar has reduced at least by half. Season with a little pepper and salt to taste. Keep the onions crunchy!
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the raisins. Let the onions rest and cool for now.
- In the meantime clean the fresh sardines thoroughly. Rinse them under cold running tap water and pat them dry with some kitchen paper. Pour the plain flour on a plate. Season with a dash of pepper and salt. Lightly coat the cleaned sardines with the flour. Shake off any excess flour.
- Heat some olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the floured sardines skin side down.
- Brown the sardines in the hot oil on both sides for 2 minutes until golden and crunchy.
- Once the sardines are cooked, take the pan off the heat. Put a layer of vinegary onions in a baking dish and top with half of the sardines.
- Cover with another layer of onions and sardines again. Finish with the remaining onions.
- Let the sardines cool and marinate further at room temperature for at least 5 hours. Serve cold.