I have a love hate affair with sardines. I love the taste of them but I hate picking out all the little bones, or the feeling of swallowing them, So I have tended to avoid them for most of my life or bought canned skinless and boneless sardines. However as I've been told to eat more oily fish, I am trying to find more interesting things than just mountains of salmon, so I thought I'd give them a go.
I still didn't like all the bones and it was such a pain to pull them out! But the flavour was fantastic, they were lovely and slightly charred by the grill and the orange worked really well too. I served them with a garlicky potato salad and a green salad.
Sardines Stuffed with Orange and Bay Leaves
(adapted from Olive Magazine June 2005)
4 large sardines or 8 small, scaled and gutted
2 oranges, 1 thinly sliced and slices halved, and 1 juiced
4 bay leaves or 8, depending on the number of fish
4 tsp smoked paprika
Preheat the grill.
Stuff the sardines with 2 or 3 slices of orange, a bay leaf and season well. Rub with a little oil and dust with paprika.
Cook the sardines under the grill for a few minutes on each side (about 2 minutes for small ones and 4 for large ones). Squeeze over some orange juice and serve.