Sardine is a small-sized fish that has been greatly overlooked.
It is cheap and affordable, because it’s a fish that will go bad very quickly, due to its high value in fat.
So, fishmongers in order to sell it off, keep the prices really low.
There are a lot of ways that you can cook fresh sardines. Baked or grilled, sardines are all super delicious, and insanely easy to make!
Today we will be making baked sardines with oregano!
The Superfood You Have Been Ignoring
Fresh sardines are packed with high-value protein.
What makes them stand out and gives them a spot in the list of SUPERFOODS is the type of fat they are composed of.
Sardines are incredibly rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are so important for your body and brain.
These fatty acids cannot be produced by our body, so we have to get them through our diet.
Apart from Omega-3 fatty acids, sardines are a powerhouse of vitamins B and D.
How To Choose Fresh Sardines
In Greece, fresh sardines are easy to find, but I know in other parts of the world it can be quite difficult.
If you are lucky to find, then you should snatch them right away.
They are nothing compared to the canned stuff!
This recipe calls for fresh sardines, and canned ones simply won’t do!
You will know sardines are really fresh when they have a subtle pleasant smell of the sea, their eyes are shiny and their bodies are firm and glossy.
As well as, when you press the sardine’s body with your index finger, the flesh should bounce back and not leave a fingerprint.
How To Clean Fresh Sardines
Sardines are very easy to clean.
Start off by removing their head.
As you cut the head, pull gently and remove the intestines with your fingers.
Make sure that you remove the intestines, because if not, sardines will have a bitter taste after being baked or grilled.
With a small knife, carefully remove any scales.
A small-sized sardine will hardly have any scales.
On the contrary, if your sardines are larger in size, they might have a lot.
When sardines are ready, rinse them under cold running water and place them in a sieve to strain.
You can, also, pat them dry with paper napkins, in order to fasten up the procedure.
How To Bake Sardines In The Oven
The secret to baking sardines in the oven is the temperature.
It depends on how crispy you like them to be!
We advise you to bake them at 190-200 degrees Celsius / upper and lower heating elements or at 180 degrees Celsius / fan mode.
For crispier sardines, you can always change the oven setting to “grill” for the last 5 minutes.
We, also, find that by using a pan which has taller sides, we don’t have splattering in the oven.
Baked sardines are best eaten sizzling hot!
There is a “disappointment” when eaten cold or reheated, so only buy as much as you can eat.
Depending on their size, estimate 12 to 15 sardines for each person.
We always serve oven-roasted sardines with steamed vegetables or boiled wild greens.
They go really well with steamed broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, potatoes and any kind of boiled greens like radikia, vlita or stamnagathi.
Drizzle with latholemono sauce and enjoy the authentic Greek way of eating fresh fish!
- 900gr. fresh sardines
- 100ml. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lemons, juice only
- 5-6 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 small cloves garlic, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 small chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 broccoli, rinsed and cut in florets
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice
- 130ml. extra virgin olive oil
- 50ml. lemon juice
- Thyme (optional)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius/upper and lower heating elements.
Remove heads, scales and intestines.
Rinse and pat them dry.
In a large bowl mix the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic and chili pepper, if using.
Add the sardines and mix carefully with your hands until they are nicely coated.
Lay gently the sardines in a baking pan in one layer.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Transfer into the oven and bake for 30 minutes approximately, until sardines are nicely browned and crisp.
Remove the baking pan from the oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Add water in a pot and bring to a boil.
Add the broccoli florets and cover with a lid.
Boil for 5 minutes until broccoli is soft but crispy.
Remove florets with a slotted spoon and transfer into a platter.
Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and sugar in a blender.
Blend on high for a few seconds until the latholemono sauce becomes creamy.
Transfer into a bowl.
Sprinkle with oregano.
Taste and season according to your liking.
Serve on the side.
You can store latholemono in a glass jar in the fridge.
If you don't have a blender, you can always place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and then beat with a whisk.