Russian Zakuski / закуски Recipe: Marinated Sardines

Talk to most people about Russian cuisine and the likelihood is they’ll say, “Don’t they just eat meat and potatoes; or eat caviar and drink vodka?”  I’m hoping to try and change people’s attitudes as there is so much more to this nation’s cuisine.  One of my favourite Russian zakuski dishes (though I realise they are not to everyone’s taste) are marinated sardines.  They are served cold so they are an ideal starter for a dinner party as they can be prepared in advance.

Russian Zakuski / закуски Recipe Marinated Sardines

Here’s my recipe…

Ingredients

Sardines, gutted and cleaned

2 white onions, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 parsnip, peeled and finely chopped

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

500ml fish stock

1 bay leaf

4 tbsp cider vinegar

50g plain flour

Instructions

Toss the sardines in flour and fry in oil until browned

Russian Zakuski / закуски Recipe Marinated Sardines

Remove sardines from pan and allow to cool

Meanwhile, fry the vegetables in oil

Russian Zakuski / закуски Recipe Marinated Sardines

Pour over the stock and add the bay leaf

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes

Add vinegar to taste and leave to cool

Pour the marinade over the sardines and allow to marinade for up to three hours

To serve, place on a platter and drizzle over the marinade

Related Images:

Adriatic Salad

The last few days in the UK have been sunny and warm, so it seemed only right to enjoy some summer food inspired by the Adriatic region.  This salad is quick but so delicious and makes an excellent starter, light main course or side dish.  Serve with some great chunks of fresh wholemeal or granary bread.

This is such a great fresh dish with fantastic flavour and super cheap if you opt to use tinned sardines.  Plus, do not forget, sardines are a great source of those all important omega-3 and I truly believe what they say, fish is brain food!

Ingredients (serves 6)

8 large firm ripe tomatoes

1 large red onion

4 tbsp white wine vinegar

6 tbsp good olive oil

18 – 24 small cooked sardines

75g black pitted olives, drained well

salt and freshly ground pepper

(I used smoked salt but regular salt will be fine)

3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Instructions

Slice the tomatoes very thinly

Arrange the tomatoes on a serving plate

sardines-2

Top with slices of red onion

Mix together the white wine vinegar, olive oil and seasoning and spoon over tomatoes and onion

Top with sardines and black olives

Sprinkle over parsley and a squeeze of lemon

Serve!

Serve!