Grilled Sardines, Charred Lemon & Chiles

Apr 19, 2012 5:01 pm

A recipe for sardines, the great sustainable fish

grilled sardines
Photo: kawanet on Flickr
Make sardines your new favorite fish — they're sustainable, super healthy and easy to grill.

Sardines are quick-cooking, versatile, sustainable and tasty! This is finger food at its best, perfect for outdoor cooking and eating. If it's not grilling season you can make this grilled sardines, charred lemons & chiles dish indoors in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet instead. Also read how chef Seamus Mullen give much love to the sardine.

Reprinted with permission from Bi- Rite Market's Eat Good Food Cookbook

Servings: 4 to 6 servings


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, more as needed
3 medium lemons
2 red chile peppers
2 tablespoons parsley, fresh, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
kosher salt
16 whole sardines, fresh, cleaned
 (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  1. Prepare a medium-hot grill fire. When hot, wipe down the grill with a paper towel dipped in oil.
  2. Cut 2 of the lemons into 1/4-inch slices and halve the other.
  3. Grill the lemon slices and halves until they have nice grill marks, 2 to 3 minutes per side for the slices and 3 minutes total for the halves. Then carefully grill the chiles until lightly charred, about 1 minute (if you have a mesh grill insert, use it to keep the chiles from falling through the grate).
  4. Mince one-quarter of the lemon slices and transfer to a small bowl. Chop the chiles into small pieces (for less heat, remove and discard the seeds first). Add the chiles to the bowl, along with the 1/2 cup olive oil, parsley, garlic, shallot, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk to blend and set aside.
  5. Season the sardines with 1 teaspoon salt and drizzle with a little olive oil. Grill, turning once, until the fish are just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.
  6. Arrange the remaining three-quarters of the lemon slices on a platter and top with the grilled sardines. Drizzle the sauce over and around the sardines, reserving any extra to serve on the side. Squeeze the grilled lemon halves over the platter.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Level of Difficulty: 
Prep Time: 
20 to 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 
10 to 15 minutes
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