Grilled Sardines with Piquillo Pepper Sauce

Fresh sardines are among the most sustainable seafood choices. Plus, they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and have very low levels of mercury relative to larger fish.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 12 fresh large sardines, cleaned (have your fishmonger do this)
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup jarred piquillo peppers (4 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Grilled peasant bread, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. Arrange the sardines in a shallow baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup of the olive oil over the sardines and top with two-thirds of the chopped garlic. Season with salt and black pepper. Let the sardines stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a mini food processor, combine the piquillo peppers with the sherry vinegar, cayenne pepper and the remaining chopped garlic; puree until smooth. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and puree until incorporated. Season the piquillo pepper sauce with salt and pepper.

  3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Oil the grill and grill the sardines, flipping them once, until they are lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the sardines to a large platter and serve with the piquillo pepper sauce and grilled peasant bread.

Make Ahead

The piquillo sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Suggested Pairing

Vibrant, medium-bodied white.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published September 2011

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