Sardines Baked in Tomato

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I think sardines are the most underrated of fish. Fresh sardines are the most intensely satisfying little morsels. This is another Turkish recipe. I’m having a bit of a Mediterranean phase at the minute. I love this dish. It’s SO easy to prepare.

NOTE: Make sure the sardines are FRESH!!! Whilst this meal was utterly delicious, I was unaware of the slight ‘issues’ with the freshness of our fish. As a result the it made its way through our bodies as quickly as a little sardine swimming in the Mediterranean, bringing with it everything in its path along the way.

RECIPE: (Serves 2-3 as a main or 4-5 as a starter)

INGREDIENTS:
10 fresh sardines (gutted and washed)
6-8 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 lemon (juice of)
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves (smashed flat)
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup fresh basil
salt & pepper
1/2 lemon (cut into wedges)

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Lay the sardines side by side in an ovenproof dish with the thyme sprigs between the fish. Squeeze over the lemon juice.

In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and sugar. Season with salt & pepper and stir in the basil leaves, keeping a few for garnish.

Spoon over the sardines and then bake uncovered in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Sprinkle over the olives and basil before serving.

SERVING:Serve with the lemon wedges to squeeze over. Serve with bread and salad. Try my Turkish salad, Çingene Pilavi

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