Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Sardines with Lemon and Mint Salsa

[Photograph: Blake Roery]

I won't try to tell you that fresh sardines make for an attractive dinner. There's no doubt about it: These are fishy fish with a reputation that no fancy lemon-and-onion salsa can hide. But I will tell you that fresh sardines make for utterly delicious eating. If you can get over picking around (and inevitably swallowing) a couple fish bones, not to mention encountering your dinner in its head-on form, you're on your way to a great meal.

The salsa comes via Nigella Lawson, and is made up mostly of the chopped flesh of a lemon, giving it this cutting brightness and acidity, shot through with fresh herbs like mint and parsley. Its bracing flavor complements the distinct taste of the sardines perfectly and does what citrus fruits ought to do in wintertime: remind you that sunnier times are coming.

Indeed, I pulled this out of a cookbook called Forever Summer. But no matter. Citrus is in season in some parts of the country, and a screaming hot broiler did the job just as well as the recommended grill.

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

Printed from

© Serious Eats