About this recipe:Sardines are in season from spring until early autumn so enjoy them at their best, stuffed with herby breadcrumbs and creamy feta cheese.
12 plump sardines, scaled, gutted and heads removed
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, crushed
40g slightly stale, white breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
40g feta cheese
lemon wedges to garnish
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Method Prep:40min › Cook:10min › Ready in:50min
Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas 6). Slit the sardines open lengthways using a sharp knife. Remove the central backbone (see below), leaving the tail fin attached. Rinse and dry the fish. Place them opened out, flesh-side-up, on the work surface, and season lightly with salt.
Mix the parsley and garlic with the breadcrumbs. Add the egg and mix everything together.
Fold back over to reshape the sardines, press them down firmly, then crumble over the feta. Fold back over to reshape the sardines, then arrange them in a single layer in a lightly greased baking dish.
Bake for 10 minutes. Serve piping hot garnished with lemon wedges for diners to squeeze over.
To remove the backbone from the sardines, simply place the fish on a board, skin side up, then press down along the length of the bone to loosen it. Turn fish over, snip the bone at the tail end and tease it out, removing any small stray bones with a pair of kitchen tweezers.