Marinated Sardine Crostini with Salsa Verde and Fennel

  • Serves

    serves 8


Chef Tony Mantuano, of Chicago's Spiaggia, combines the tangy flavors of tarragon and chive salsa verde with a zesty lemon and fennel salad in this marinated sardine crostini.


For the Salsa Verde

  • 12 cup minced fresh tarragon
  • 12 cup minced fresh chives
  • 13 cup minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and chopped
  • 12 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 13 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 12 tbsp. capers, rinsed, drained, and chopped

For the Sardines and Serving

  • 4 fresh sardines, deboned and filleted
  • 12 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 12 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed
  • Juice of a 1/4 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 (1"-thick) slices ciabatta bread, halved


Step 1

For the salsa verde: In a medium bowl, combine the tarragon, chives, parsley, egg, mustard, olive oil, and capers. Stir to mix thoroughly and let stand for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a week.

Step 2

For the sardines: Lightly salt the sardines and let stand for 10 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, and vinegar. Put the sardines in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over. Marinate for 30 minutes. Remove sardines from the marinade and lightly pat dry. Set aside until ready to use.

Step 3

For the fennel salad: Using a mandolin, thinly shave the fennel into a medium bowl. Dress with lemon juice and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Step 4

For the crostini: Lay out the slices of ciabatta on a cookie sheet. Toast under the broiler until brown, about 1 minute. Flip the slices over and repeat. Remove from the oven. Alternatively, you can grill the bread over an open flame.

Step 5

To assemble: Spread a teaspoon of salsa verde onto each crostini. Top with a sardine fillet and some shaved fennel salad. Serve immediately.

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