Recipe courtesy of Cory Vitiello

Sardine Escabeche with Endive, Garlic Croutons, Artichoke Chips and Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 50 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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5 ounces good-quality virgin olive oil

8 sardines, scaled and gutted, heads removed

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, mixed with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 ounces red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 dried red chiles

1 fresh bay leaf

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 sprig fresh thyme

Zest of 1/2 orange

1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette:

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large shallot, minced

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 sprig fresh basil, roughly chopped

2 heads blonde frisee, tender leaves only

2 heads Belgian endive, quartered lengthwise and cored, and then each quarter halved to create long, thin pieces

Garlic Croutons, for serving, recipe follows

Artichoke Chips, for serving, recipe follows

Garlic Croutons:

5 ounces olive oil

5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 day-old sourdough loaf

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Artichoke Chips:

17 ounces canola oil

1 raw artichoke heart

1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. For the sardines: Heat 2 1/2 ounces of the olive oil in a saute pan until hot. Dust the sardines in the flour, and then fry in the oil, 1 minute per side. Transfer to a shallow dish and wipe out the saute pan. 
  2. Mix together the vinegar, salt, garlic, chiles, bay leaf, onions, rosemary, thyme and orange zest in a small bowl. Transfer to the pan used to fry the sardines, bring to a boil, and then let simmer, about 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley and remaining olive oil, and then pour the hot marinade over the sardines. Let marinate 1 hour. 
  3. For the roasted tomato vinaigrette: Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic and shallots in the olive oil until very lightly browned. Stir in the tomatoes and continue to cook until they burst, giving off their juices. Whisk in the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and basil and remove from the heat. 
  4. For assembly: Quickly dip the frisee in ice water for a moment to refresh the leaves, and then dry on a paper towel. Build the salad up with the endive and frisee, tucking the sardines and Garlic Croutons in and around the plate. Spoon the warm vinaigrette over and around the salad, and finish with the Artichoke Chips on top.

Garlic Croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook the garlic until light brown and giving off a toasty aroma. Let cool, and then strain the oil. Tear the sourdough into rough, 3/4-inch pieces and toss with the garlic oil. Season the croutons with the salt and pepper, adding more if needed, and lay on a baking sheet. Bake about 6 minutes, and then sprinkle the croutons evenly with the Parmesan before returning to the oven until golden brown, 5 minutes longer.

Artichoke Chips:

  1. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a large saucepan, making sure to leave about 2 inches from the top. Slice the artichoke into paper-thin slices using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, and then fry until evenly golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel and sprinkle with the salt.

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