Afik Gal is the man who keeps the Melbourne branch of Israeli dining sensation Miznon running day-to-day. His recipe for cured sardines on toast is a winner for brunch, lunch or even a light dinner. And once you see how easy curing your own sardines is, you won't look back. Gal demonstrated this dish at Masterclass supported by Sanpellegrino during the 2019 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.
240g sea salt (Afik Gal uses Atlantic)
1 cup white wine vinegar
500g fresh sardines, filleted, skin and bones removed
1 sprig oregano
1 sprig sage
3 dried red chillies, thinly sliced
2 cups olive oil
2 slices sourdough bread
Salted butter, to serve
½ red onion, sliced to thin rings
1 radish, thinly sliced
1. For the brine, place salt and 760ml water in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the salt dissolves. Cool the brine to room temperature.
2. Add the vinegar to the brine, then add the sardines. Leave for 15 minutes, then remove the sardines from the brine and pat dry with paper towel. Place the sardines in a shallow container, scatter with oregano and sage leaves and red chilli and pour in the olive oil to cover. Sardines will keep in the olive oil for about a week in the refrigerator.
3. Toast the sourdough, spread with butter, top with onion rings, then arrange about 5 fillets of sardines on each slice (you may have sardines left over) and top with radish slices.