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Grilled Spiced Sardines with Couscous

Serves 4
Time 35 min
Never cooked fresh sardines before? This easy, super-tasty recipe featuring aromatic spices is a great introduction. We love it as a main dish, but you could also serve it as a starter for 6 people. Ask your fishmonger to prepare the sardines for you.
Ingredients
  • 12 sardines cleaned, scaled and heads removed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Method

Quickly rinse sardines and pat dry. Using your fingers, grasp the top of a sardine’s backbone and pull down firmly but gently to remove it. (Don’t worry if flesh gets a little ragged; this will help sardines absorb the marinade.) Repeat with remaining sardines. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in both sides of each sardine. In a large bowl, combine oil, garlic, coriander, ground cinnamon, pepper, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Add sardines and toss gently to coat them all over. Cover and refrigerate while you heat the grill and make couscous.

Prepare a grill for medium heat cooking or preheat the broiler. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups water, cinnamon stick and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in couscous and lemon zest. Remove from the heat, cover the pan and let sit for 10 minutes.   

Remove sardines from marinade and discard excess marinade. If grilling, remove as much marinade as possible from fish (it will cause flare-ups) and place them on the grill; use a grill basket if you have one. If broiling, place fish on a baking sheet and broil 6 inches from the heat source. Cook sardines, flipping once, until well browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.   

Fluff couscous with a fork and discard cinnamon stick. Mound couscous on a platter and surround with sardines. Sprinkle sardines with cilantro and parsley and serve.

Note: We've provided special diet and nutritional information for educational purposes. But remember - we're cooks, not doctors! You should follow the advice of your health-care provider. And since product formulations change, check product labels for the most recent ingredient information.
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  • 12 sardines cleaned, scaled and heads removed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley