110g/4oz plain flour
1kg/2lb 4oz sardines, cleaned and gutted
6 tbsp olive oil
500g/1lb 2oz onions, finely sliced
200ml/7fl oz white wine vinegar
200ml/7fl oz white wine
75g/2¾oz caster sugar
1 tsp crushed cloves
4 bay leaves
½ tsp saffron strands, soaked in 1 tbsp water
75g/2¾oz pine nuts
For the sardines, sprinkle the flour onto a plate and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge the sardines in the seasoned flour until completely coated.
Heat four tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat and add the sardines in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, until the sardines are crisp and golden-brown on both sides and the flesh is opaque. Repeat the process with the remaining sardines.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a separate non-reactive frying pan over a medium heat, add the onions and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
Add the white wine vinegar, white wine and caster sugar and increase the heat until the mixture is simmering. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the volume of liquid has reduced by a third.
Add the crushed cloves, bay leaves, saffron strands and saffron water, sultanas and pine nuts and stir well to combine. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, place a layer of the sardines and then place a layer of the onion mixture on top. Repeat until all the sardines and onion mixture has been used, then pour the remaining liquid over the top.
Cover the bowl and place the sardines in the fridge overnight to marinate (they can be kept for up to three days).
For the salad, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the ciabatta cubes and fry for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden-brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
Place the salad leaves into a bowl, add the browned ciabatta cubes and sprinkle over the grated parmesan. Add the lemon juice and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well to coat the leaves.
To serve, divide the marinated sardines equally among four serving plates. Pile a portion of the salad alongside.
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James Martin is joined by top chef Tom Kitchin for the cooking show.
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