Whole Sardines with Parsley

Inspired by the southern Italian dish sarde arraganate, this quick dish from chef Chris Behr of the Rome Sustainable Food Project uses fresh parsley and is slightly tangy from the red wine vinegar. Whether you’re using sardines or even whole anchovies, look for incredibly fresh fish that have clear eyes and smell like the sea.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6


  • 12 fresh sardines (about 2 ounces each), cleaned and scaled

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 
plus more for drizzling

  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 
plus more for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper 

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • Lemon wedges and crusty bread, 
for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. Pat the sardines dry with paper towels and season generously with salt. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add 3 of the garlic cloves and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add half of the sardines, 1 tablespoon of the parsley and 
½ teaspoon of the crushed red pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until the sardines are browned and just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add 
1 tablespoon of the vinegar and cook until the liquid is reduced, about 1 minute. Discard the garlic and transfer the sardines to 
a platter; tent with foil. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining olive oil, 
garlic, sardines, parsley, crushed red pepper and vinegar.

  2. Drizzle the sardines with more olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve warm with lemon wedges and crusty bread.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published May 2017

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