Gastronomixs

Silver sardines

The guest chef for October is Ana Roš, chef and owner of Hiša Franko in Kobarid (Slovenia), where the menu is determined by the local environment of the Soča Valley. The area has a rich diversity of animal species, fruit, and wild plants – ingredients that Ana likes to use in her cooking. Her cooking style is an innovative remake of traditional recipes from the Soča Valley, prepared with local ingredients. The restaurant is closely linked to the community of shepherds, cheese-makers, hunters, and fishermen.

Ana's philosophy is to be led by nature: take what the season has to offer, combine the unexpected, and don't be afraid to take risks.

Ana only started cooking around the age of 30, and has achieved a lot in remarkably short space of time. She took over the restaurant, Hiša Franko, together with her partner from his father. She started working in the kitchen without any prior experience, and she taught herself how to cook. And with great success; in 2017 she was named the world's best female chef by the World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy. In 2016, Ana was featured in the Netflix documentary Chef's Table.

Creation by Ana Roš, Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia.

Photography by Suzan Gabrijan.

Silver sardines

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Ingredients

200

g

sardines, very fresh

20

g

fleur de sel

4

 

young artichokes with stems

1

 

lemon, halved

25

g

bianchera olive oil (strong and bitter) 

30

g

olive oil

10

g

rosemary

As needed:

 

artichoke trimmings

2

litre

water

 

 

salt

100

g

mascarpone

50

g

milk

30

g

colatura di alici (anchovy sauce)

As needed:

 

olive tree wood chips

100

g

bianchera olive oil

As needed:

 

olive tree wood chips

2

 

lemons

25

g

water

25

g

caster sugar

50

g

lemon juice

100

g

ramson (wild garlic)

10

g

agar agar

3

g

xanthan

 

 

salt

 

 

salt

 

 

bianchera olive oil

As needed:

 

ramson flowers and leaves

Preparation method: silver sardines
  • Clean the sardines, taking care to remove the head and the spine without splitting them.
  • Cover with salt and leave to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  • Gently wipe off the salt. The skin must remain intact. 
  • Store in the refrigerator until further use.
Preparation method: artichokes cooked sous vide
  • Pull off and discard the artichoke leaves until you get to the heart.
  • Clean the artichokes so that just the hearts remain and cut each heart in half.
  • Put the artichoke hearts into iced water with the halved lemon straight away.
  • Peel the stems and remove the fibres.
  • Add the stems to the iced water.
  • Reserve all the artichoke trimmings for the preparation of the artichoke broth.
  • Vacuum seal the artichoke hearts and stems with the olive oil and cook at 90°C for five minutes.
  • Immediately plunge into iced water.
Preparation method: artichoke broth 
  • Roast all the artichoke trimmings with the olive oil and rosemary in the oven at 175°C.
  • Bring to the boil with the water and simmer on a low heat for six hours at 75°C.
  • Strain and cool in ice water.
  • Season with salt.
Preparation method: Colatura di alici crème 
  • Blend the mascarpone and milk in the thermoblender, bringing it up to 70°C.
  • Incorporate the Colatura di alici and cool down.
  • Cold smoke the cream with olive tree wood chips.
  • Store in the refrigerator until further use.
Preparation method: smoked olive oil 
  • Cold smoke the olive oil with olive tree wood chips.
  • Repeat the smoking process three times. 
  • Pour into a squeeze bottle and store at room temperature.
Preparation method: candied lemon peel
  • Peel the lemons.
  • Remove all the white parts from the lemon peel.
  • Cut the peel into very thin strips (julienne).
  • Blanche the lemon strips in water three times, refreshing the water each time.
  • In the meantime, bring the water, sugar, and lemon juice to the boil.
  • Add the lemon peel, cover with baking parchment, and remove from the heat.
  • When cold, bring it to the boil again and then cool it down again.
  • Repeat the process, boil and cool the mixture a total of 6 times.
  • Cool the candied lemon peel down and store until further use.
Preparation method: ramson gel
  • Blanch the ramson (wild garlic) in boiling water for 10 seconds.
  • Immediately cool in iced water.
  • Chop the blanched leaves and discard the stems. Transfer to the thermoblender with some of the cooking liquid and blend for 10 minutes.
  • Filter through a cheesecloth, cool it down, add the agar agar, and whisk well.
  • Bring to the boil again, season with salt, and pour into a large tray to allow the mixture cool down and set.
  • Transfer the jelly to a small bowl, add the xanthan and mix with a hand-held blender until you have a smooth gel.
  • Store in a piping bag.
Finishing and presentation
  • Slice the artichoke hearts and stems very thinly.
  • Dress with a pinch of salt and a few drops of strong olive oil.
  • Place the artichokes in the centre of the dish, lay the sardine on top, and garnish with the candied lemon peel.
  • Pour the Colatura di alici crème beside the stack.
  • Pipe some ramson gel onto the plate and garnish with fresh ramson flowers and leaves.
  • Finish with some smoked olive oil.
  • Serve the warmed broth on the side.

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