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Grilled Sardines with Mint and Almonds
© Stephanie Meyer

Grilled Sardines with Mint and Almonds

  • TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 8 to 10
  • FAST
  • HEALTHY

Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures

This dish has all the complex flavors of traditional North African cuisine, yet it’s surprisingly simple. If sardines aren’t available, try using any fresh fish. I prefer small fish: anything from 5 ounces to 2 pounds is perfect. I also make this recipe once a year with a whole wild salmon—I just triple the rub/sauce elements and cut deep slashes in the fish for holding the seasonings and to help it cook evenly. Look, the world would be a better place if we all ate small fish with the heads on once a month, so go buy some mackerel, sardines, mullet, rouget, small pompano, porgies, skate, you name it…and get your fish groove on. Last thought, this makes a great fish dish for Passover. From my lips to God’s ears.—Andrew Zimmern

  1. 3/4 cup whole almonds
  2. 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  3. 1 small onion, minced
  4. 1/2 cup raisins
  5. 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  6. 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
  7. 3 large garlic cloves
  8. Pinch of crushed red pepper
  9. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  10. 12 fresh sardines, small red mullet, mackerel or trout—cleaned, heads left on
  11. Lime wedges, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread the almonds in an even layer and toast for about 10 minutes, until golden.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir the saffron with 2 tablespoons of hot water. Let stand for 2 minutes, then stir in the onion, raisins and half of the roasted almonds.
  3. In a food processor, combine the cilantro, mint, garlic and crushed pepper and pulse just to combine. With the machine on, drizzle in the olive oil. Add two-thirds of the herb mixture into the onion mixture.
  4. Using a sharp paring knife, make 3 diagonal slashes into the fish on both sides. Rub the remaining herb mixture all over the fish and into the slashes. Grill or broil the fish for about 3 minutes per side, until nicely charred and cooked through.
  5. Spoon some of the sauce onto a serving platter, top with the grilled sardines and serve with lime wedges.
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