Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper Salsa

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Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper SalsaPin recipeFollow us 100.4k

You probably know by now that sardines are super good for you with their high amount of omega 3 fatty acids and high amounts of protein but have you ever had fresh sardines?

No? I thought so. We’re so used to eating sardines out of a can that most of us have had no idea what they’re like fresh. Answer, delicious.

I’ve paired these grilled sardines with an olive caper salsa and charred lemons for one low-carb meal you’ll want to make all-the-time.

If you’re new the cooking whole fish there’s a few thing you should know:

  1. If you can, buy the fish already scaled and cleaned.
  2. If you can’t you’ll need to rinse of the scales and gut the fish. Not a pretty job but it goes fast and it’s super easy. This video shows the best way to clean sardines.
  3. You don’t have to leave the heads on if that makes you or your dinner party companions squeamish. Simply remove them when cleaning or have your fishmonger do it for you.
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Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per serving, 2 sardines + 2 tbsp salsa)

1.9 grams 1.1 grams 32.5 grams 33.7 grams 3.1 grams 411 calories
Total Carbs3grams
Net Carbs1.9grams
of which Saturated3.1grams
Magnesium59mg (15% RDA)
Potassium593mg (30% EMR)

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (2%), protein (30%), fat (68%)

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 8 large fresh sardines, scaled and cleaned (800 g/ 1.76 lb) - will yield about 80% meat
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tbsp mixed herbs, minced (rosemary, oregano, parsley)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup green olives, minced (57 g)
  • 3 tbsp minced red onion (50 g)
  • 1 heaped tbsp capers (16 g/ 0.5 oz)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (30 ml)
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  1. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Clean the sardines (this video shows the best way to clean sardines). Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper Salsa
  2. Brush the sardines with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss together the salsa ingredients in a small bowl. Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper Salsa
  4. Place the sardines on the grill along with the lemon cut side down.
  5. Grill sardines for about 3 minutes per side until charred. Transfer to a platter along with the charred lemon. Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper Salsa
  6. Spread the salsa over the top of the sardines and serve. Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper Salsa
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Lauren Lester
Creator of Healthful Creative

Lauren Lester

Lauren is a food photographer, recipe developer, and author.

With a focus on mindful and sustainable living she aspires to show her audience that healthy eating doesn't have to be boring, complicated, or tasteless and that healthy living is all about getting in touch with yourself and your surroundings.

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