Grilled Sardines with Garlic Walnut Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Grilled Sardines:

2 pounds sardines (about 15), heads removed and gutted

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup canola oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Garlic-Walnut Sauce:

1 cup whole walnuts

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

4 cloves garlic, crushed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

Grated lemon zest, for garnish


  1. For the grilled sardines: Add the sardines, salt and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, for the garlic-walnut sauce: Add the walnuts, parsley, dill and garlic in a food processor. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Blend until finely ground. With the food processor running, add the olive oil and blend until smooth. The mixture should resemble pesto.
  3. Heat the grill (preferably charcoal) to high for direct grilling. Remove the sardines from the bowl and pat dry. Brush the sardines with canola oil and sprinkle with pepper. Grill the sardines until golden brown and slightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip the sardines over and continue grilling for 1 minute. Transfer the sardines to a platter and drizzle with the garlic-walnut sauce and garnish with the parsley and lemon zest.