This post was a really hard one to do. Look at those pictures. Sardines are not really “photogenic”. However, they are incredibly delicious. And SOOO simple to make. I was walking through my local Whole Foods and came across fresh sardines. $5.99 a pound. For wild caught, fresh fish. So, I bought a half a pound and figured why not? They are incredibly heart healthy, they’ll cook quick for a weeknight appetizer splurge, and it’s about $3.00. I’ll take a chance for $3.
Marinated them in olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme. Threw them on a screaming hot grill pan. At 20 degrees outside, I thought it was a touch cold. After the thick smoke abated from my “open concept kitchen/dining room/living room”, I decided next time they would cook on the grill. A scant few minutes later, we had an amazing appetizer. They were gone in seconds. To say that tasted amazing would be an understatement. Again, didn’t look like much, but tasted great.
I was inspired by this recipe and the author’s incredible photos. While I should have probably left the fish whole for picture purposes, I’m pretty sure the kids wouldn’t have eaten them with the “guts”.
As this is a fish recipe, please be careful to avoid eating the bones. Sardines have bones, and lots of them. Bones can pose a choking hazard.
Grilled Fresh Sardines
Prep Time: 1 hour (marinating)
Cook Time: about 6 minutes
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ pound sardines, cleaned, tails and heads intact.
lemon wedges to serve
Place the first 5 ingredients in a container and mix together well. Place sardines in container and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour.
Heat grill or grill pan moderately hot. If using grill, these fish are small, use a basket or some other device that won’t allow the fish to go through the grates. Place fish on grill, cooking on each side for about 3 minutes, until done. Remove from grill, sprinkle with a bit of finishing salt (large crystal salt) and serve with a lemon wedge. Best eaten with hands, picking the fish from the bones. As with any fish, be careful with the bones!
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