Sarde in saor is a typical Venetian sardine recipe. Some use the name ’sweet and sour sardines’ as well. It’s bloody easy 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 raisins to the recipe. I don't want to overcomplicate the sardines so I kept it very basic.
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.
Ingredients for 2 persons
Peel the red onion and finely slice it into rings. Pour a splash of olive oil in a saucepan and add the sliced onion.
Cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the white wine vinegar, bay leaf and fennel seeds. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Let the onions simmer for another 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the onions rest. Clean the fresh sardines thoroughly. Rinse them under running tap water and pat dry with some kitchen paper. Put the plain flour on a plate. Season with 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. Brown the sardines in the hot oil on both sides for 2 minutes until golden and crunchy. Remove them to a ceramic oven dish. Drizzle with the warm onions and the vinegar sauce. Let the sardines cool and marinate further at room temperature for at least 5 hours. Serve cold.