I’ve eaten this dish a thousand times. When I was growing up this was something that my dad would make quite often. My dad didn’t cook much so things were simple. He would take a can of sardines that came with a tomato sauce included with it then he would make some white rice and in about 10 minutes dinner! I loved it and to this day it’s one of those dishes I talk about that can take me back.
I wanted to make this dish a few months ago but it’s not very easy to find fresh sardines. After a few calls I found a place in West Seattle (BEST CITY EVER!!!) that carries them. The problem is that they’re not exactly something that is exciting to most people so they don’t carry them normally. I was buying some mussels and clams yesterday and I saw the sardines in the window ready for a little tomato sauce and rice action!
I bought 5 of them and took them home.
I cleaned and butterflied them then dredged them with seasoned flour, cooked them in a pan with hot oil quickly on both sides. The black bean puree is awesome and I’ll never tell you how I make it…..muah hahaha. The tomato/piquillo pepper sauce is made by roasting garlic, piquillo peppers, tomatoes, and a red bell pepper, removing skin, food process, strain, and reducing a little bit more over heat. The herbs on top are a mixture fresh oregano, fresh cilantro, and preserved lemon chopped together. The rice is made with fresh bay leaves and a touch of salt.
Put it all together and eat….still takes me back.