Fresh sardines, difficult to find until recently, are a revelation to anyone who has only eaten their canned cousins. The fresh ones are easy to clean and scale and are inexpensive. To eat, nibble them like corn-on-the-cob.
– Twelve 4-ounce sardines.
– 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Step 1:Clean the sardines by running your thumb along the belly and pushing out the innards. It is easiest to do this in the sink with cold running water. Remove the scales by rubbing the fish under running water. Pat dry with paper towels, but don’t leave the paper towels on the fish or they will stick.
Step 2:Season the sardines on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat until it just begins to smoke. Add the sardines and cook for 3 minutes, or until they begin to develop a crust. Turn them with tongs and cook for 3 minutes longer, or until crispy on the other side. Serve immediately on warmed plates.