Fresh sardines with gremolata dressing

The lovely chaps at Fish is the Dish work hard to promote fish as the perfect family food. They often send me little surprises, and this time it was a tray of the freshest sardines.  There’s really only one thing to do with sardines: obviously that’s eat them fresh from the barbecue with a glass of local wine at some beautiful beachside location.  Failing that, you can make this easy, fresh version of gremolata to go with your shiny silver dinner:

You will need:

Fresh sardines, gutted

Large bunch parsley

1 lemon

2 cloves garlic

Couple of glugs of olive or rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

First, preheat your grill so it’s really hot.  Sprinkle the sardines with salt and pepper and pop them under the grill.  They’ll only take a couple of minutes each side – just enough time to make the gremolata oil.

Traditionally gremolata is a ‘dry’ mixture of lemon zest, garlic and tons of parsley all chopped together.  I’ve added oil here to make it easy to drizzle.  So just squish the garlic with the side of a knife (use a pinch of salt for grip), then chop the parsley into it and add the zest of the lemon.  Transfer into a bowl and add the olive oil. Squeeze in the lemon juice.  I added a pinch of dried chilli too.

Serve the sardines piping hot with crusty bread (or I made little square crispy potatoes) and drizzle with the gremolata.

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