You gotta' love The Porter in Little Five Points for its incredible (yet slightly overwhelming) beer selection, but also the restaurant's feel-good food like goat cheese fritters, Georgia Wild shrimp 'n' grits, and kraut and beer brats.
Chef/co-owner Nick Rutherford let us in the place before it opened so he could whip up a dish that proves sardines are delicious, nutritious and easy to cook with.
Try it for yourself!
Grilled Sardines with Eggplant Tapenade
Serves: 1-2 (add more sardines to serve more)
Time: 5-7 minutes
3 fresh de-boned sardines
1/2 c. diced eggplant (leave in salt overnight to remove excess moisture)
1/4 c. diced red onion
1/4 c. sliced cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. golden raisins
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tbsp. chopped basil
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
To make sardines:
Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on grill. Add a pinch more salt and pepper if desired. Grill about 3 minutes on skin side, 2 minutes on flesh side.
To make tapenade:
Heat pan with olive oil. Saute diced onions, adding a pinch of salt and pepper. When the onions become translucent (1-2 minutes), add in diced eggplant and let cook for about 3 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add golden raisins and toss. Add cherry tomatoes and toss. Add in sherry vinegar, toss, and let cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle basil over the tapenade in the pan.
Serve tapenade on top of sardines with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.