Grilled Sardines

with Boiled Potatoes and Pepper Salad

  • 2 pounds fresh or thawed frozen sardines
  • coarse or kosher salt
  • ½ sweet onion
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 hot pepper
  • handful parsley or cilantro, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds new potatoes
  • lemon wedges

Rinse sardines in cold water. No need to scale or gut them. Rub them with a handful of coarse salt. Set aside in the fridge for an hour while you and your friends boil potatoes, make a nice fi re in a charcoal grill, and prepare the pepper salad. Pour everyone a nice glass of Vinho Verde.

For the pepper salad, slice the onion very thinly. Put in a small bowl and cover with ice water. Halve the peppers, discarding the seeds and cores, and slice very thinly. Toss in a serving bowl with the parsley or cilantro, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Drain the onion very well and toss in.

Scrub the potatoes and boil them in their jackets until they can be easily pierced with a fork. When you have a nice bed of coals and a hot grill, wipe the salt off each sardine and lay on the grill. Char ever so lightly, then flip; char again, and you’re done.

Pour more wine. Set out the piping hot fi sh and potatoes and the cool crisp salad and lemon wedges. Black olives and crusty rolls complete the picture. Each diner uses a fork and knife to extricate delicious bites of fi sh, casting aside the skin and scales, bones and innards.

Serves 4.

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