Sardines are one of those dishes I think about every couple of months. Lets be clear, I’m not talking about canned sardines (which can actually be pretty good), I’m talking about those big beautiful sardines you see being roasted atop hot charcoal. I blame the endless supply of travel/food shows that I stumble across for these visions. Fresh sardines are very perishable and they are best stored between 0-2c, wich is somewhat colder than our standard fridges. This is why sardines frozen whole at sea are the best choice for us landlocked Albertas, and thankfully you can get them at more and more stores. I bought this package at my local Italian Centre.
You can gut the sardines before you cook them, or do what I do and just toss them on whole. I like to give my sardines a rinse before patting dry. After that, I give them a bit of olive oil followed by a sprinkle of salt and pepper. They go onto the bbq (preheated to medium-hot) and cook for three minutes per side. DO NOT TOUCH THEM! You want the sardines to sear nicely or you’ll likely end up pulling them apart when you try to move them.
Once they are off the heat, spoon over a delicious mixture of herbs and citrus, and use your fingers to rip them apart.
Herby Citrus Sauce
Handful of cilantro (minced)
Handful of parsley (minced)
Four cloves of garlic (minced)
One tsp dried chili flakes
One shallot (minced)
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Combine everything in a bowl and let mingle for 30 minutes.
PS Sardines are really healthy. So you should eat more of them!