- 1 pound mixed small fish (whiting, bogue, anchovy, red mullet, etc.)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- All-purpose flour for dredging and thickening
- Olive oil for frying, plus 1⁄3 cup extra-virgin
- olive oil for sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 cup water
- 1 fresh rosemary twig
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
Makes 4 servings
1. Gut and wash the fish, then pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper and dredge lightly in flour. Heat about 3/4 inch of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and, when the oil is very hot, fry the fish in batches until golden on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels to drain. Pour off the oil.
2. Scrape any burned flour from the skillet. Wipe dry. Heat the extra-virgin oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for a minute. Sprinkle in 1 scant tablespoon of flour and stir constantly until the flour turns light golden. Add the water, rosemary, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, and remove from the heat. Let the marinade cool to room temperature.
3. Place the fish in a large container with a tight-fitting lid and pour the marinade over them. Let set overnight or for several days in the refrigerator before removing bay leaves and serving at room temperature.