Grilled Sardines

Total Time:
50 min
20 min
30 min

2 servings

  • 6 medium sized fresh sardines
  • 1/2 handful coarse sea salt
  • 2 baking potatoes, like russets
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup Portuguese olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
  • 1/8 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Scale and gut the sardines (you can have your fishmonger do this). Wash the sardines under cold, running water and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly salt the sardines with coarse sea salt and refrigerate. Meanwhile, boil 2 potatoes until a knife is easily inserted. Drain and cool.

  • Roast 2 red bell peppers over an open flame until charred. Place in a bowl and cover it with plastic to allow it to steam for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the plastic and peel and seed the peppers.

  • Cut peppers into 3-inch wide strips and combine in bowl with 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/8 cup white wine vinegar, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Preheat a grill.

  • Place the sardines on a hot grill. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and place on the grill. When the sardines are done on first side, flip them over, and give the potatoes a quarter turn to create the grill marks.

  • Place 3 sardines on each plate with 2 potato halves and some red pepper salad. For decoration and extra flavor, sprinkle with some thinly sliced onions and garlic over the sardines and drizzle with remaining olive oil.

  • The ideal accompaniment for this dish is some Portuguese rolls and a nicely chilled Vinho Verde Portuguese wine.

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I have never had fresh sardines before, only the ubiquitous preserved type in the little cans that are topped with olive oil, mustard, or tomato sauce. However, I saw a television show that featured Portuguese recipes and a fresh sardine recipe was included. I put the ingredient on my list of things to try. Then, I walked into my local supermarket and they had whole, frozen sardines on sale. I'm sure that fresh caught would have been the epitome, but I can attest to the fact that this recipe was delicious with the thawed, gutted, and seasoned sardines that I used. Sorry, Nick, I had to gut 'em. LOL. I also had to make a change in the potatoes because I did not have white potatoes on hand, only sweet potatoes. I baked them, added a pat of butter, cinnamon, and Splenda (you could use sugar) and served them with the sardines and the roasted red pepper salad. It was divine. I will definitely try this again with the white potatoes and, probably, with the bread that Nick suggested. I am waiting for a chance to serve this dish to company. It's a keeper. item not reviewed by moderator and published
An interesting recipe, but in the Algarve, South Portugal (since this is referred to) where sardines are our staple diet, we do it more like this: Smother the fresh sardines with sea salt and refrigerate for an hour. The scales are left on for barbecuing / grilling as they keep the fish from drying out and, if required, can be lifted off after grilling in one piece. Nor would any Portuguese remove the innards, as these attest to the fish's freshness. They don't actually have to be eaten, except for any roe that should be treated as an unexpected bonus when found inside. To enjoy grilled sardines "Algarvian style", dump the fish onto a slice of what is home made Pao caseiro, (fresh house bread) and eat the sardines with your fingers. The bread follows, after it has soaked up the fish juices. Anyone spotted using knives and forks, if a visitor to the country, will gently be enlightened, or if from Lisbon or Oporto, be treated to pitying smiles. Enjoy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
this recipe brought back memories for me..... my great-grandparents were from Portugal, and I learned alot of my love of food and cooking from them... they were incredible people who raise 7 children in a cold-water flat in New Briton, Conn., and loved their whole family and shared their love of cooking with all of us.... I hope that I will be able to find some of my great-grandmother's recipes from other family members.... and I will be adding tihs one to the family recipe box! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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