Sarde in Saor (Sweet and Sour Sardines)

  • Serves

    serves 6

These sumptuous cicheti are traditionally made with fried sardines, but they're just as delicious when the fish are broiled. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue, with Dana Bowen's story Good and Plenty.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food


  • 12 cup white wine
  • 14 cup raisins
  • 2 lb. sardines, cleaned
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 34 cup olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, sliced thin
  • 13 cup white wine vinegar
  • 14 cup pine nuts


Step 1

Combine wine and raisins in a bowl. Soak for 30 minutes; drain, and set aside. Meanwhile, heat broiler to high. Season sardines with salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Broil, until cooked, about 2 minutes; cool.

Step 2

Heat oil in a 4-qt. pan over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook until browned, 10–12 minutes. Add vinegar, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until soft, 6–8 minutes. Stir in raisins, nuts, and salt and pepper; let cool. Place half the sardines on bottom of an 8″ x 8″ dish; cover with half the onion. Place remaining sardines on top; cover with onion. Marinate in refrigerator for 4 hours.

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