July 17, 2015

“From my travels in Sicily, Sardinia and Spain my love for sardines has grown and I can eat them for breakfast lunch and dinner. This is a fantastic recipe where the crust of spiced cous cous takes on a deliciously crunchy texture and the salad, with its antique preserved lemon and then sweet tang of the pomegranate, is like a rainbow of colour. This is an ideal all round seasonal dish for entrée, starters or part of a picnic platter. Serve the sardines, hot or at room temperature.” – Dominique Rizzo


Serves 4

2 cups cooked cous cous

2 tsp lemon zest

¼ cup roasted almonds, chopped finely

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

¾ tsp paprika

Salt and pepper

400g butterflied, cleaned sardines

¼ cup plain flour

2 eggs

¼ cup Bertolli Gentile Extra Virgin Olive Oil


1 red onion, finely sliced

3 tomatoes, cut into quarters, deseeded and sliced thinly

¼ preserved lemon, flesh removed and diced

3 stalks from a bulb of fennel, thinly sliced

4 black kalamata olives, deseeded and sliced

¼ cup pomegranate seeds

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp Bertolli Gentile Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tsp white vinegar


1. Combine the cous cous with the lemon zest, almonds and spices then season with salt and pepper.

2. Whisk the eggs together in a separate bowl.

3. Pass the cleaned sardines through the flour and then the egg wash and then press into the seasoned and spiced cous cous covering the sardines well. Repeat with all the sardines and set aside.

4. Prepare the salad by combining all the ingredients in a bowl except the lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar.

5. Heat the ¼ cup of olive oil in a fry pan over moderate heat. Fry the sardines until golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes.

6. Set the sardines aside on paper towel to drain. Repeat with the remaining sardines, adding more oil if needed.

7. Serve the sardines topped with the salad and the combined lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Season the salad lightly with salt and pepper and enjoy.