Take a peek into our cupboards and you’ll almost always find one or two tins of sardines on stock. It’s a very versatile fish and particularly frugal from a tin. However, a certain something is lost in translation; fresh sardines are among my favourite fish. Oily and packed with flavour, they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Baked Fresh Sardines are a treat.
But I do fresh sardines a disservice by making them sound expensive; they’re certainly not. Our local fishmongers was selling them off at 40p each! And these weren’t any old sardines; they weren’t to be faulted.
As far as I’m concerned, when dealing with fish there’s one rule that must be adhered to; simplicity. It’s a shame to drown out the flavour of fish with complex flavours. A bit of garlic here, a glug of oil there and a sprinkling of lemon juice is about as fancy as a recipe like this needs to get. Have you tasted sardines? Flavour will never be lacking.
Don’t feel obliged to bake your fish either. It isn’t the time of year, but sardines are delicious straight off the barbecue or even grilled. Just be careful not to overcook your fish; sardines should never be dry!
And if tinned sardines are all you have or want to buy, don’t miss my recipes for sardine fritters and sardine fish cakes; they’re both equally simple and excellent.
Baked Fresh Sardines
- 10 fresh sardines, gutted
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, mashed
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp salt
- a twist of black pepper
- parsley to serve, finely chopped
- Lay the sardines in a large oven-proof dish. Cover with the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Turn each fish and cover the dish with foil. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200C/180C(fan). Remove the foil and bake until cooked through and starting to brown.
- Eat immediately with fresh, crusty bread and a little parsley.
Cost: 10 fresh sardines are plenty for 3-4 people, especially with a hunk of bread. And at 40p per fish, this recipe shouldn’t set you back much more than £4.60.
11 replies on “Baked Fresh Sardines”
Got to love simply cooked sardines like this, nice one.
I definitely agree with keeping fish recipes simple! I’ve had lovely fresh sardines in Spain but have never cooked any myself.
This reminds me of Portugal. The grilled sardines were amazing!
Where does one buy fresh sardines?
The fish monger and some larger supermarkets.
Yum!!! Love it!!
Lovely recipe – we should all eat more fresh sardines, they are so good and, where I live they are ridiculously cheap!
You must take advantage!!
I love sardines. This looks like a delicious recipe.
Thank you – we enjoyed them so much and so simple.
In the Midwest, it is very hard to find fresh sardines. I have, however, found frozen sardines (not canned!) in Indian and Asian grocery stores.