Sardines Escabeche with Roasted Late Summer Peppers and Greens | CUESA

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Returns March 17, 2022

Sardines Escabeche with Roasted Late Summer Peppers and Greens


Ed Carew, Café Des Amis.

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on October 2, 2010.

Serves 6


12 sardines, filleted and trimmed
Salt, to taste
White wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil

2 pounds late summer peppers such as nardellos or Italian fryers; roasted, skins, stems and seeds removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 garlic cloves, shaved or very thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
2 heads frisee
1 cup Cresta di Gallo, tough stems removed, torn, washed and dried
½ cup leaves of Italian parsley
¼ cup leaves of tarragon
¼ cup sliced chives
½ ounce capers, drained if necessary

½ cup Banyuls vinegar
¼ ounce shallots, finely minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1½ cups grapeseed oil

Olive Puree
1 cup niçoise olives
2 salted anchovy fillets, washed
Ice water to cover

2 thick slices bread
Extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt


  1. Place sardines in a shallow pan in single layer, season lightly with salt and arrange them skin side up. Just cover the sardines with white wine vinegar and let sit for 12 to 16 minutes until flesh firms up and turns slightly white in color. Remove from vinegar and store submerged in extra virgin olive oil.

  2. Marinate the roasted, cleaned peppers in salt, pepper, shaved garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Reserve.
  3. Clean the frisee: remove the outer green leaves and use only the inner white part. Remove the core and tear the leaves. Wash and dry. Set aside with the Cresta di Gallo and the herbs.
  4. Heat a small sauce pan over medium-high flame.  Add olive oil and fry the capers until just crispy.  Drain on a paper towel and reserve.
  5. Whisk together the vinegar, shallot and Dijon.  Drizzle in the grapeseed oil while whisking continuously until incorporated.  Set aside.
  6. Make the olive puree: add all ingredients to a blender and puree until super smooth.
  7. Make the croutons: preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice bread into large cubes, toss with olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Bake in oven until golden brown. Set aside.
  8. Assemble: in mixing bowl toss the frisee, Cresta di Gallo and herb mixture with the fried capers and half the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Divide two tablespoons of the olive puree between four large plates; smear the puree on the bottom of each plate, divide the salad between the plates; and drape 3 ounces of the marinated peppers over each. Remove sardines fillets, pat dry with a paper towel and lay an equal amount over each salad. Sprinkle with sea salt and top with toasted crouton.

Photo by Barry Jan.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »