Serve this dish with a salad of rocket tossed with halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced white onion, extra-virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar.
- 2 bunches (about 500gm) of rocket, trimmed
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, for brushing
- 12 sardines (about 80gm each), cleaned
- 1Add rocket to a large saucepan of boiling water and cook for 30 seconds or until just wilted, drain immediately and refresh in a bowl of iced water, then drain well. Squeeze excess water from rocket.
- 2Process blanched rocket and lemon juice in a food processor until finely chopped, then, with the motor running, gradually add olive oil and process until well combined. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then transfer mixture to a small jug and leave for 20 minutes. Strain through muslin, gently wringing, into a bowl. Makes about 1 cup.
- 3Place sardines on a plate, season to taste with sea salt.
- 4Brush sardines with extra olive oil, then barbecue or char-grill over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side or until just cooked through. Serve immediately with rocket oil in a bowl to the side.
Drink Suggestion: One of the best matches for sardines is a pale, bone dry manzanilla sherry from Spain.