Sardines, an often underrated fish, are enjoying their current status as flavour of the month. Relatively inexpensive, they are also higher than other whole fish in the Omega 3's that they provide.
Coming from a Greek background, sardines were a staple that I grew up on. I love them, simply charred on a BBQ with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon - as I do most things. Once cooked, the flesh is easy to tear away; it just lifts from the bone. Alternatively, if you'd prefer to fillet them yourself, it's undemanding, as far as filleting fish goes. The perfect fish to start with if you're funny about bones and eating fish whole.
For this recipe, I've added a twist with the addition of fresh herbs and the crunch of almonds. Perfect eaten as a main on its own, or as a mezze accompanying other dishes.
1/2 cup mint
1/2 cup parsley
1 tbsp almond slithers
Shallots to finish
Sourdough, to serve
Take the sardines out of the fridge 30 min prior to cooking. Brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Toss almonds in a dry pan till golden, for 3-5min. Let cool.
Cut the lemon in wedges, removing the skin.
Brush the lemon with oil oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill on a hot BBQ. Let cool, and dice.
In a bowl, combine the herbs, shallots, almonds, diced lemon and dress with liberal amounts of lemon oil. Season with a good pinch of sea salt.
Place the sardines on a hot BBQ grill. Cook for 3-5 min each side.
Place the cooked sardines on a plate, and dress with the herb mixture.
Serve with the sourdough, and enjoy!
[ Serves 2 as a main dish ]
Douk Konstantaras, TLSE Food Contributor