Simple Grilled Sardines

Simple Grilled Sardines

Grilled fresh sardines are often offered on restaurant menus, but it’s very easy to make them at home, whether over hot coals or under the broiler. At the fishmonger, look for firm, shiny, glistening specimens. Sardines are a sustainable fish choice and are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Most importantly, they are extremely delicious. For a Mediterranean touch, grill the fish on fig leaves: After cooking the sardines on one side, lay four fig leaves on the grill and place two fish, cooked side up, on top of each leaf to finish cooking. The fig leaves will add a subtle perfume to the sardines (they look beautiful, too), but they are not edible.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or stovetop grill pan, or light the broiler.
  2. Step 2

    Season sardines inside and out with salt and pepper and paint both sides lightly with olive oil.
  3. Step 3

    Lay sardines on the grill and cook them on one side for about 2 minutes, until nicely browned. (Sardines rarely stick to the grill.) Carefully flip sardines and cook for about 2 minutes more, until just done.
  4. Step 4

    Transfer each portion to individual plates. Put the sliced fennel in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dress with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Place a pile of dressed fennel evenly on each plate. Serve with lemon wedges and a sprinkle of parsley.