Sardine Cakes with Caper-Parsley Sauce

Facebook has been great to reconnect with friends and acquaintances from high school. Recently, former Francis Howell alum Jason Pettus posted this pictured on Facebook.  I asked for the recipe and he obliged. The use of sardines intrigued me as I’ve been reading “Beard On Food” and the writer uses a lot of sardines.    

Jason begins:

“Although I was briefly a professional cook for a time in the ’90s, in recent years I’ve gotten out of the habit of preparing interesting new dishes, so thought I’d at least try to add one elaborate new recipe to my life per week again and see how that went. This week, for example, I decided to teach myself some new things to do with sardines, which are cheap and flavorful but also salty and overwhelming if used badly; but when combined with cod and green onions to make fried cakes, and covered in a zesty parsley/capers/lemon sauce, they are a wonderful and inexpensive treat. (The six large cakes you’re seeing here were probably less than a dollar apiece to make, which when combined with vegetables and soup could easily make an entire three-person meal.)


(for six cakes)

* 1 pound 1-inch-thick halibut fillets

* 6 tablespoons olive oil

* 1 cup chopped green onions

* 3 drained canned sardines, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

* 2 large garlic cloves, chopped

* 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

* 2 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

* 1 large egg


Sprinkle halibut fillets with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add halibut fillets and sauté until just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate; cool. Wipe skillet with paper towels.

Flake halibut fillets into large bowl. Mix in green onions, sardines, chopped fresh parsley, flour, garlic, and lemon peel. Mix in 1 cup breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper; mix in egg. Shape into six 3-inch-diameter cakes. Transfer remaining 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs to bowl. Coat fish cakes with breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere.

Heat remaining 4 tablespoons oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish cakes and cook until brown and crisp, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to plates; serve fish cakes with Caper-Parsley Sauce.

Caper-Parsley Sauce

And here’s the recipe for the sauce, which in this form makes about a cup’s worth:


* 2/3 cup olive oil

* 6 tablespoons drained capers

* 6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

* 6 anchovy fillets, chopped

* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

* 2 large garlic cloves, halved


Blend all ingredients in processor until coarse puree forms. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Courtesy: Jason Pettus


One comment

  1. Looks Killer.

    Welcome to the Society.

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