For this appetizer from Kea, fresh sardines are lightly pickled in a tart marinade.
- 12 (2"–3") sardines or anchovies, cleaned
- 12 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
Working with one sardine at a time, use a knife to remove the head. Without piercing the fish all the way through, use the tip of the knife to loosen the spine and remove the bones from the flesh. Rinse the cavity with 1 tbsp. of vinegar and transfer the deboned sardine to a small bowl. Lightly season the cavity with salt. Repeat with remaining fish and vinegar.
Drain sardines and arrange them in an 8" x 8" baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, parsley, and garlic and pour marinade over the sardines, massaging some of the marinade into the cavity of each fish. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, turning fish occasionally. To serve, transfer fish to small plates and serve with bread.