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Grilled Sardines With Lemon Salsa

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

There is something about fresh, really fresh, grilled sardines that reminds me instantly of those long holiday lunches in rented summer houses abroad. But if neither sardines, nor a fishmonger to fillet them, are available, know that this lemon salsa is terrific with any fish — and indeed most meats.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

There is something about fresh, really fresh, grilled sardines that reminds me instantly of those long holiday lunches in rented summer houses abroad. But if neither sardines, nor a fishmonger to fillet them, are available, know that this lemon salsa is terrific with any fish — and indeed most meats.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Grilled Sardines With Lemon Salsa
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 6-8

Metric Cups

For the Sardines

  • 24 medium sardines (boned)

For the Salsa

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint (or coriander)
  • 125 millilitres extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • Maldon salt
  • pepper

For the Sardines

  • 24 medium sardines (boned)

For the Salsa

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint (or coriander)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • sea salt flakes
  • pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the grill (or a barbecue) to the hottest it will go.
  2. Peel the lemons by cutting the tops and bottoms off and then sit upright on one end, and cut away the zest and pith from top to bottom with a sharp knife, turning it with your non-cutting hand as you go, then chop them roughly and chuck them in a bowl. Now chop the red onion, parsley and mint (or coriander) either by hand or in the processor, being careful - please - not to turn them to mush.
  3. Mix the oniony herby mixture with the chunks of lemon in the bowl and stir in the olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper. Sometimes, I have to say, I add some crumbled dried red chilli pepper (or a finely chopped fresh green or red chilli) as well.
  4. Leave the salsa to macerate while you cook the sardines. When they're really fresh, they scarcely need much time: just blitz them under a hot grill, transfer them to a waiting plate, sprinkle with Maldon salt and take to the table with the summer-sharp lemon salsa in its bowl alongside.
  1. Preheat the grill (or a barbecue) to the hottest it will go.
  2. Peel the lemons by cutting the tops and bottoms off and then sit upright on one end, and cut away the zest and pith from top to bottom with a sharp knife, turning it with your non-cutting hand as you go, then chop them roughly and chuck them in a bowl. Now chop the red onion, parsley and mint (or coriander) either by hand or in the processor, being careful - please - not to turn them to mush.
  3. Mix the oniony herby mixture with the chunks of lemon in the bowl and stir in the olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper. Sometimes, I have to say, I add some crumbled dried red chilli pepper (or a finely chopped fresh green or red chilli) as well.
  4. Leave the salsa to macerate while you cook the sardines. When they're really fresh, they scarcely need much time: just blitz them under a hot grill, transfer them to a waiting plate, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and take to the table with the summer-sharp lemon salsa in its bowl alongside.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
It is not advisable to make ahead or store.

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
It is not advisable to make ahead or store.

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