Grilled Sardines with Frisée and Whole-Grain Mustard Dressing

Grilled Sardines Ingredients

FOR THE FRISÉE:

  • 1 head frisée
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots

FOR THE WHOLE-GRAIN MUSTARD DRESSING:

  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 cup golden (or white) balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup rice bran oil or canola oil

FOR THE SARDINES:

  • 12 fresh sardines, cleaned and butterflied (see sidebar)
  • 1 cup rice bran oil or canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

How to make Grilled Sardines with Frisée

Start a fire in your grill 30 minutes in advance, burning the wood down until you have a red-hot coal base. You don’t want flames touching the fish. (See backmatter for preparing a wood-fired grill.)

Wash the frisée and snip the green tips off the leaves, leaving behind only the white and yellow part of the head. Cut off and discard the core. Tear the remaining leaves into medium pieces. Place the frisée in a bowl, toss in the herbs and shallots, and set it aside, undressed, until ready to serve.

grilled sardines

grilled sardines

In a medium bowl, whisk the mustard and vinegar with a pinch of salt and pepper until combined. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream until the dressing is thick and emulsified—it should come together pretty quickly. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Set the dressing aside.

Brush the sardines on both sides with the oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the parsley. Place the fish on the hot grill, skin side down, and cook until their flesh turns opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the fish from the grill and set them aside on a plate with theskin side up.

Toss the frisée salad lightly with the dressing, add salt and pepper to taste, and arrange the salad on a platter. Place the sardines on top, skin side up.

How to Cleaning Sardines ?
Using a sharp knife, slice open the belly of each fish and remove its innards. Cut off the head, open the fish with your fingers, and pull out its spine (this should remove most of the bones, though there may be a few stragglers). Keep the fish butterflied for grilling.