According to NHS, a healthy diet should include at least two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish such as sardines. Most of us are not eating enough so here comes the recipe which will hopefully help you eat fish more often: grilled sardines.
Just in case you didn’t know why oily fish is so important – it contains essential fatty acids, called Omega-3 fatty acids, which the human body cannot make from scratch so we must get them from our food.
Omega-3s are important for keeping your heart healthy and contribute towards healthy skin and hair. They have anti-inflammatory properties and are great for joints and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. What’s more, Omega-3s are good for your brain too and they may help protect against dementia and related conditions.
While I rarely eat meat, I do my best to include enough fish in my diet. Sardines have never been my favourite but I am slowly learning to eat them more often. They are not only rich in Omega-3s but they are also rich in calcium which is good news for the bones.
For the salad
- 12 fresh sardines (gutted and cleaned)
- 2 lemons (halved)
- 4 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for greasing)
- 240 g mixed leaf salad (8 oz or 8 cups)
- 1 large red onion (sliced)
- 4 tbsp pitted green olives (sliced)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- ¼ tbsp red chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley (leaves only, chopped)
- 75 ml extra- virgin olive oil (2 ½ fl oz or 1/3 cup)
- For the salad: Preheat a barbecue or grill to a moderately hot temperature.
- Brush the sardines and lemon halves with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Once the barbecue is ready, brush the grates with a little olive oil.
- Lay the sardines and lemon halves on the grates, and leave undistributed until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip and grill for a further 1-2 minutes until cooked through.
- Remove the sardines and lemon halves from the grill. Cover with aluminium foil and keep warm to one side.
- Divide the salad leaves and sliced red onion between two serving plates. Top with the sardines and the lemon halves. Scatter over the sliced olives.
- For the dressing: Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing in a small mixing bowl.
- Spoon over the sardines and salad before serving.