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Sardine Escabeche

Serves 6


16 butterflied sardine fillets
1 teaspoon paprika (or plain flour)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) red wine vinegar
1/2 cup (110 g) brown sugar, firmly packed
2 oranges, segmented
1/2 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup spearmint, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups watercress sprigs (or spinach)

Cooking Instructions:

1. Combine paprika with 1/2 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper, then sprinkle over the skin side of sardine fillets.
2. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook sardines over - medium-high heat, skin-side down, for 20-30 seconds or until golden. Do not turn over and cook all the way through. Transfer to a non-metallic dish in a single layer.
3. Meanwhile, place vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat then pour hot mixture over sardines. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
4. To serve, combine onion, olive oil, oranges, mint and watercress in a large bowl then place on a platter. Top with sardines then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Serve at room temperature.

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