Grilled appetizer: Sardine crostini

Recipe: Sardine Crostoni

8 sardines gilled, gutted and scaled (ask your fish monger for help with this) -- Season with salt pepper and olive oil

Simple tomato sauce

  • 2 fresh whole tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper

1 loaf of bread, in our case, a sour battard
olive oil


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic mashed
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • salt
  • water
  • parsley, chopped

Grill the seasoned sardines over hot coals or flame for approximately three minutes on each side. As tempting as it is to look to see how the cooking is progressing, don't touch the fish because the skin will be altered and stick to the grill or pan. Three minutes shouldn't overcook the fish. Let the cooked fish cool a bit before gently running a thumb along the spine from the tail to the head, releasing the fillets in pieces.

Cut the ripest whole tomatoes you can find in half, and run them over the course side of a cheese grater with a bowl beneath. Finely grate the garlic into the same bowl. Add the oil and vinegar, and season to taste.

To make the aioli use a nonreactive bowl. Start by slowly adding olive oil to the egg yolk while whisking briskly. Once you have started an immolation, you can add the olive oil at a steadier rate until all the olive oil is incorporated (the aioli will be very thick at this point) whisk in the garlic and lemon juice and salt to taste. If necessary thin the aioli with a little water to until desired consistency is achieved.

Cut the bread into 1/2 inch slices, brush with olive oil and toast beneath a broiler.

Assemble the crostoni. Spread the simple tomato sauce over the toasted bread thickly, topping that with the sardine fillets, then a nice drizzle of aioli. Top off the crostoni with the fragrant green parsley.


Monterey Fish Market
Pier 33
San Francisco CA 94111

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