Grilled Sardines with Eggplant Puree and Tarragon Dressing
2 T white wine vinegar
2 T water
2 T plus 1/4 cup chopped tarragon, divided
1 minced shallot, divided
4 minced garlic cloves, divided
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 t lemon zest
1 T diced roasted red pepper
2 t chopped capers
2 T lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped toasted pine nuts
12 butterflied fresh sardines
Oil and roast eggplant 45 minutes at 375°; cool and coarsely chop flesh.
Combine vinegar, water, 2 T chopped tarragon, 1/2 minced shallot and 2 minced garlic cloves; bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Puree with chicken stock, 1/4 of the eggplant flesh, salt and pepper; sir in remaining eggplant and set aside.
Saute remaining 1/2 minced shallot and 2 minced garlic cloves 2 minutes; remove from pan and let cool. Combine with lemon zest, roasted red pepper, capers, lemon juice, 1/4 cup chopped tarragon, pine nuts, salt and pepper.
Oil, season and grill sardines until lightly charred, 2 - 3 minutes. Serve eggplant puree topped with the sardines and drizzled with tarragon dressing.